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bandabou
Sep 28th, 2004, 02:41 PM
Community Property
It's been an odd year for the WTA. (We suspect you've noticed.) Never have we had such a wide-open year, with four players competing for the #1 ranking at the U. S. Open, four different Slam winners (three of them first-timers, and none of them had a Slam at the start of 2003!), a half dozen players winning their first titles -- we could go on.

Well, we've got one more for you. It looks as if we might tie the record for the least successful most successful player.

We probably need to define what we mean. Every year, some player wins more titles than any other on the Tour. That's our "most successful player" (though she isn't always #1 -- e.g. last year Kim Clijsters had nine titles, but Justine Henin-Hardenne, with eight titles, was the year-end #1).

Let's look at the numbers here. The table below shows the winningest player of each year, and the #2, with the number of players won, going back to 1994:


Year..Winningest............#2 Winner
2003..Clijsters (9).........Henin-Hardenne (8)
2002..S. Williams (8).......V. Williams (7)
2001..Davenport (7).........V. Williams (6)
2000..Hingis (9)............V. Williams (5)
1999..TIE: Davenport, Hingis (7)
1998..Davenport (6).........Hingis (5)*
1997..Hingis (12)...........Davenport (6)
1996..Graf (7)..............Seles (5)
1995..Graf (9)..............Martinez (6)
1994..Sanchez-Vicario (8)...Graf (7)

* Patty Schnyder also had five titles in 1998. But Schnyder's titles were small and Hingis's large; there isn't much doubt about who was more successful.

We don't need to go back before 1994; before that, going back at least to 1983, the most successful player always had at least ten titles per year (Navratilova in 1984 had 15). It tells you something about the changes in the Tour that, since 1993, only one player (Hingis in 1997) has had as many as ten.

But now let's compare that with the numbers for this year. The contrast is striking. We'll ignore players with only one title:


Titles..Player............Title List
6.......Davenport.........Pan Pacific, Amelia Island,
..........................Stanford, Los Angeles,
..........................San Diego, Cincinnati
5.......Henin-Hardenne....Sydney, Australian Open,
..........................Dubai, Indian Wells,
..........................Olympics
3.......Kuznetsova........Eastbourne, U. S. Open,
..........................Bali
3.......Mauresmo..........Berlin, Rome,
..........................Canadian Open
2.......Clijsters.........Paris, Antwerp
2.......Myskina...........Doha, Roland Garros
2.......Loit..............Casablanca, Estoril
2.......Sharapova.........Birmingham, Wimbledon
2.......S. Williams.......Miami, Beijing
2.......V. Williams.......Charleston, Warsaw

And both our top two are a bit questionable right now. Davenport loves indoor surfaces, especially indoor hardcourt, but she's been hurt. Henin-Hardenne does not love indoor hardcourt; it's probably her worst surface. So it's possible that we will equal the 1998 record for least successful most successful player. Even if Davenport or Henin-Hardenne can take charge, it seems certain we'll be at the low end of the scale.

Not really surprising, is it?

Helen Lawson
Sep 28th, 2004, 02:44 PM
I'm really against community property. Jess didn't have his contract renewed right after we had the twins and then when I divorced him 10 years later, I had to pay him a fortune thanks to community property laws. Don't get married in California, that's all I'm telling you.