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View Full Version : Comparing the difficulty of Grand Slam title runs


FaceyFacem
Mar 6th, 2007, 04:55 AM
Hey all, sometimes we've talked about GOAT, or weak draw/strong draw, or many things like that, so i wanted to do some calculations to try and see if there was a good way to compare how hard each of the titles runs of GS champs since 1990 were (if a girl won a major since 1990, i counted all her majors, ex: navratilova won wim90, so i used stats from all her majors):
i calculated in 3 different ways:
Avg rank of opponents faced en route to title (at that time)
# of major winners defeated en route to the title
# of majors defeated en route, therefore, beating capriati (3 majors) is weighted more than beating kuznetsova (1 major)
-for these final 2 categories, all their majors count, even those they would win later on (ex. justine def. kim in RG03, kim still is considered a major winner, although she had not won one at that time)

i then averaged their stats to how each did on an average
title run (so if someone beat 3 major winners one time and 1 major winner the next time, then their score would be 2)
and i noted some interesting individual stats also, here are the lists!

Toughest major winners in terms of average rank faced in title runs:
A. Myskina 29.43
J. Novotna 29.71
I. Majoli 31.43
V. Williams 33.23
M. Navratilova 36.07+
A. Sanchez-Vicario 40.61
M. Sharapova 42.64
S. Kuznetsova 43.43
K. Clijsters 46
J. Capriati 46.62
A. Mauresmo 48
L. Davenport 48.29
M. Seles 49.33
G. Sabatini 50.57
S. Williams 59.66*
S. Graf 62.63*+
C. Martinez 63.43
J. Henin 66.63
M. Hingis 72.69*
M. Pierce 74.14

*all faced an unranked player during one event (steffi twice) - i used 1000 for the rank of an unranked player
+some of their majors didn't have ranks listed for anyone, omitted them from the calcs

Easiest Path - Hingis AUS-99 194.14
Easiest Path (no unranked opponents) - J. Henin AUS-04 177.57
Hardest Path - V. Williams WIM-00 17.57

Toughest major winners in terms of major winners defeated en route on average:
J. Henin - 3
K. Clijsters - 3
A. Myskina - 3
J. Capriati - 3
S. Williams - 2.625
V. Williams - 2.6
A. Mauresmo - 2.5
M. Pierce - 2.5
A. Sanchez-Vicario - 2.25
Graf - 2.09
Sharapova - 2
Kuznetsova - 2
Davenport - 2
Hingis - 2
Novotna - 2
Majoli - 2
Martinez - 2
Seles - 1.78
Navratilova - 1.5
Sabatini - 1

no GS winners faced en route: Graf AUS-90, Navratilova AUS-83
most GS winners faced: S. Williams US-99 (5-Clijsters, Martinez, Seles, Davenport, Hingis)

toughest major winners in terms of average number of majors "defeated" en route:
Sabatini - 22
Martinez - 21
Sanchez-Vicario - 17.25
Navratilova - 16.83
Davenport - 13.66
Capriati - 13
Seles - 12.33
Graf - 10.64
V. Williams - 10.2
Novotna - 10
Pierce - 10
S. Williams - 9
Sharapova - 9
Clijsters - 9
Myskina - 9
Majoli - 8
Mauresmo - 7
Hingis - 6.2
Henin - 5.6
Kuznetsova - 5

just found all this interesting, hope you do to, let me know some other criteria i can process to compare the difficulties of the title runs - feel free to draw your own conclusions

jjames69
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:05 AM
somone has too much time on their hands.

FaceyFacem
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:14 AM
somone has too much time on their hands.

starting law school in september, may as well waste time now as i listen to the new music i just bought

Aphex
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:15 AM
Mommy my head hurts! :timebomb:

lecciones
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:17 AM
So lowest score is toughest? wish you placed more legends. But thanks for the info!

FaceyFacem
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:24 AM
So lowest score is toughest? wish you placed more legends. But thanks for the info!

the 1st list you want a low #, since facing 1 is tougher than facing 20
the other lists you want a high #, more GS winners faced in the 2nd list, more quality GS winners faced in the 3rd list

starin
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:05 AM
starting law school in september, may as well waste time now as i listen to the new music i just bought

me too.....what school r u head to?

MyskinaManiac
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:15 AM
So, Im a bit confused... can you please draw a conclusion for me... so that I don;t have to think.

bandabou
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:41 AM
Hmmm..so Serena has had some of the toughest major wins. interesting.

Tennisation
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:43 AM
Toughest thread to read thru:help:

John.
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:48 AM
Very interesting. Thanks

Williams Rulez
Mar 6th, 2007, 08:25 AM
So, Im a bit confused... can you please draw a conclusion for me... so that I don;t have to think.Conclusion is given.. :)

Easiest slam to win by calculating the average rank of the opponents

Easiest Path - Hingis AUS-99 194.14
Easiest Path (no unranked opponents) - J. Henin AUS-04 177.57
Hardest Path - V. Williams WIM-00 17.57

see the rest yrself, i'm too lazy to copy and paste

Shonami Slam
Mar 6th, 2007, 08:31 AM
problem - this is also futuristic slam winners.
i mean - Novotna won a slam only at her very end, Clijstes was not a slam winner when she met Serena in 1999, Mauresmo is an active player on tour for a decade and only won a major last year, Martinez played on a good length without really bieng a major threat anymore, myskina and majoli have the "one slam wonder" debate over thier heads and are equal to novotna and kuznetsova, davenport in a whole career has only three slams, pierce's lengthy career as a threat anytime she played cannot be equal to sharapova who is a peak player with much less slam showings that she could lose, thus adding to her opponents tally.

anyway - it's problamatic to judge this way.

starred06
Mar 6th, 2007, 08:34 AM
I am sure you have put a lot of time into your model, but I could see some obvious flaws in the way you try to define easy or tough paths.

1) For the first method, the average rank could be totally irrelevant in calculating the difficulty of a player's path. Here is an example:

Say both Player A and Player B have to win against 7 different players to win a GS.

Here is the path of Player A:
1st round against a player ranked 70
2nd round against a player ranked 50
3rd round against a player ranked 40
4th round against a player ranked 20
QF against a player ranked 15
SF against a player ranked 8
F against a player ranked 5

The score of Player A would be 29.7.

Here is the path of Player B:
1st round against an unranked player, so according to your model the player would be ranked 1000
2nd round against a player ranked 130
3rd round against a player ranked 90
4th round against a player ranked 70
QF against a player ranked 3
SF against a player ranked 2
F against a player ranked 1

The score of Player B would be 185.1.

So the scores suggest that Player A has a far more difficult to the title. However, Player B has beaten the top 3 players in the world (this could be a true scenario) to the title, while Player A did not have to face a top 5 player until the final. I wouldn't say that Player B has exactly an easier path than Player A.

Now even if I omit the 1000 ranked player in the path of Player B, Player B would still have a higher score (49.3), i.e. a tougher path, than that of Player A. But again, beating the top 3 players in a row is definitely more difficult than beating a no. 8 and no. 5 player in reality. This suggests that the scores of your model do not accurately reflect the realistic situation.


2) The fatal flaw is that you count the majors a player currently possesses, instead of the major a player had when the match-up happened. How could one say that beating Justine Henin today is exactly as difficult as beating her before she won a GS?

Another problem is that a player could have won a lot of GS in the past, but is currently not as strong a player as she was. I think it will be easier to beat Martina Hingis now than when she was winning almost everything in 1997. If Navratilova decides to come back TODAY and play singles in a Grand Slam, does that mean that the player who defeats her would score tremendous points? And thus makes her path to the title a "tough" one?


Please do not feel offensed, but this model is definitely not an accurate model to reflect how tough/easy the title runs of these players are.

Marcus1979
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:19 AM
Clijsters in 1999 was not even close to the player she was in 2001-2005

Hashim.
Mar 6th, 2007, 10:45 AM
Clijsters in 1999 was not even close to the player she was in 2001-2005

absolutely right..

Direwolf
Mar 6th, 2007, 02:45 PM
so... uhmm.. which Justine Henin is the better player??
The Justine who beat Venus in 2001 or
the Justine who has lost to Venus during 2002-2003??

FaceyFacem
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:10 PM
Please do not feel offensed, but this model is definitely not an accurate model to reflect how tough/easy the title runs of these players are.

i'm not offended, don't worry, i see obvious flaws, that's why i selected 3 different ways to try to model it, it's pretty impossible to really compare, but i did something just to get the ball rolling...

FaceyFacem
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:12 PM
me too.....what school r u head to?

waiting to hear from yale, harvard, columbia, penn, chicago

already into nyu and gw

you?

Black Mamba.
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:18 PM
starting law school in september, may as well waste time now as i listen to the new music i just bought

I'm a 1L right now and my advice is get as much sleep as you can.