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View Full Version : Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996


justineheninfan
Oct 4th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Obviously it goes without saying Steffi Graf was by a huge margin the best player of 1996. After that it was kind of a mix with 4 or 5 who switched back and forth power behind Graf. Novotna had Seles's number this year in the big matches, but Sanchez had Novotna's except for the Chase Championships. Seles continued to own Sanchez and Martinez. Seles and Sanchez did the best reaching some important finals, with Seles the one other than Graf to win one in Graf's absence. Martinez continued to post consistent results but struggled vs most of her rivals this year. Hingis came on late in the year and was about the 2nd best player for the final 3-4 months of 1996 after being a middling top 15 player the rest of it.

Monica Seles- won the Australian Open with Graf and Novotna (her two toughest opponents that year) absent. Lost in the quarters of the French Open and the Olympics. Embarassing early loss at Wimbledon. Runner up to Graf at the U.S Open. Retired from the Chase Championships due to injury. Other big win of year was Canadian Open. 5 titles and 48-8 record on the year.

Was 0-1 vs Graf, 0-2 vs Novotna, 3-0 vs Sanchez Vicario (counting Fed Cup), 0-1 vs Hingis, and 2-0 vs Martinez (counting Fed Cup) for 1996.


Aranxta Sanchez Vicario- Was finalist in French Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, coming up just short in each. Quarterfinal loser at Australian and 4th round loser at the U.S Open. I had thought at the time maybe she was the 2nd best player of the year but looking at it now with only 2 titles and a rather pedestrian 57-22 record I dont really feel that way anymore. Had she won the French Open final over Graf, which she should have closed out, I probably still would have gone with her as 2nd best player of the year but she didnt.

0-3 vs Seles, 1-2 vs Hingis, 0-2 vs Graf, 2-1 vs Novotna, and 2-0 vs Martinez for the year.


Jana Novotna- very consistent year for her standards with atleast a quarterfinal in every major event she was in. Semis of French, Semis and bronze medal match winner of Olympics, Quarters of Wimbledon (losing to Graf), Quarters of the U.S Open, and Semis of Chase Championships (losing to Graf again). 54-13 record and 4 titles.

0-2 vs Graf, 2-0 vs Seles, 2-1 vs Hingis, and 1-2 vs Sanchez Vicario for the year.


Conchita Martinez- A letdown after her best ever 1995 year, and yet like 1995 failure to take the big step in the biggest events. Semis of both the French and U.S Opens, losing again to Graf and Seles. Quarterfinals of Australia, 4th round at Wimbledon. Biggest title of year was Rome. 51-18 record. Head to head was owned by all main rivals except Hingis who she trounced in their only meeting in the Rome final, and Novotna who she didnt play.


Martina Hingis- U.S Open semis and Finals of the Chase Championships were her high points. Australian Open quarters, Round of 16 at Wimbledon 3rd round of the French. Only 2 titles and 51-6 record.
Drubbed Seles in their only meeting of the year 6-2, 6-0. 1-3 vs Graf on the year, 0-1 vs Martinez, 2-1 vs Sanchez Vicario, and 1-2 vs Novotna.



Actually reviewing all the stats I would say Seles was definitely the 2nd best player of the overall year despite the slight embarssments of her Wimbledon showing, the back to back losses to Novotna, and the bad drubbings by Hingis and a horribly slumping Capriati late in the year.

I would give the 2nd best to Sanchez because of the major finals.

I would go with Novotna next, then Hingis, then Martinez just behind Hingis.


So this would be my order for the year.



1. Graf



------huge gap------





2. Seles
3. Sanchez Vicario
4. Novotna
5. Martinez
6. Hingis

By the end (fall) of 1996 I think Novotna and Hingis were already playing a level above Seles and Sanchez Vicario which would carry over into 1997 but they werent for the overall year, despite Seles's poor showings vs both.

spencercarlos
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:24 AM
Obviously it goes without saying Steffi Graf was by a huge margin the best player of 1996. After that it was kind of a mix with 4 or 5 who switched back and forth power behind Graf. Novotna had Seles's number this year in the big matches, but Sanchez had Novotna's except for the Chase Championships. Seles continued to own Sanchez and Martinez. Seles and Sanchez did the best reaching some important finals, with Seles the one other than Graf to win one in Graf's absence. Martinez continued to post consistent results but struggled vs most of her rivals this year. Hingis came on late in the year and was about the 2nd best player for the final 3-4 months of 1996 after being a middling top 15 player the rest of it.

Monica Seles- won the Australian Open with Graf and Novotna (her two toughest opponents that year) absent. Lost in the quarters of the French Open and the Olympics. Embarassing early loss at Wimbledon. Runner up to Graf at the U.S Open. Retired from the Chase Championships due to injury. Other big win of year was Canadian Open. 5 titles and 48-8 record on the year.

Was 0-1 vs Graf, 0-2 vs Novotna, 3-0 vs Sanchez Vicario (counting Fed Cup), 0-1 vs Hingis, and 2-0 vs Martinez (counting Fed Cup) for 1996.


Aranxta Sanchez Vicario- Was finalist in French Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, coming up just short in each. Quarterfinal loser at Australian and 4th round loser at the U.S Open. I had thought at the time maybe she was the 2nd best player of the year but looking at it now with only 2 titles and a rather pedestrian 57-22 record I dont really feel that way anymore. Had she won the French Open final over Graf, which she should have closed out, I probably still would have gone with her as 2nd best player of the year but she didnt.

0-3 vs Seles, 1-2 vs Hingis, 0-2 vs Graf, 2-1 vs Novotna, and 2-0 vs Martinez for the year.


Jana Novotna- very consistent year for her standards with atleast a quarterfinal in every major event she was in. Semis of French, Semis and bronze medal match winner of Olympics, Quarters of Wimbledon (losing to Graf), Quarters of the U.S Open, and Semis of Chase Championships (losing to Graf again). 54-13 record and 4 titles.

0-2 vs Graf, 2-0 vs Seles, 2-1 vs Hingis, and 1-2 vs Sanchez Vicario for the year.


Conchita Martinez- A letdown after her best ever 1995 year, and yet like 1995 failure to take the big step in the biggest events. Semis of both the French and U.S Opens, losing again to Graf and Seles. Quarterfinals of Australia, 4th round at Wimbledon. Biggest title of year was Rome. 51-18 record. Head to head was owned by all main rivals except Hingis who she trounced in their only meeting in the Rome final, and Novotna who she didnt play.


Martina Hingis- U.S Open semis and Finals of the Chase Championships were her high points. Australian Open quarters, Round of 16 at Wimbledon 3rd round of the French. Only 2 titles and 51-6 record.
Drubbed Seles in their only meeting of the year 6-2, 6-0. 1-3 vs Graf on the year, 0-1 vs Martinez, 2-1 vs Sanchez Vicario, and 1-2 vs Novotna.



Actually reviewing all the stats I would say Seles was definitely the 2nd best player of the overall year despite the slight embarssments of her Wimbledon showing, the back to back losses to Novotna, and the bad drubbings by Hingis and a horribly slumping Capriati late in the year.

I would give the 2nd best to Sanchez because of the major finals.

I would go with Novotna next, then Hingis, then Martinez just behind Hingis.


So this would be my order for the year.



1. Graf



------huge gap------





2. Seles
3. Sanchez Vicario
4. Novotna
5. Martinez
6. Hingis

By the end (fall) of 1996 I think Novotna and Hingis were already playing a level above Seles and Sanchez Vicario which would carry over into 1997 but they werent for the overall year, despite Seles's poor showings vs both.
I would switch Hingis with Martinez, mainly because of their respective post Usopen results. Hingis trounced Seles 6-2 6-0 and lost to Graf in 5 sets at the YEC final, plus Hingis was beating pretty much the whole tour except from Jana and Graf at the end of the year.. That´s way better than Martinez Rome win IMO..

Novotna made SF, QF, Qf at slams, Hingis did Qf, 3rd, 4rd, SF, very similar records, and consider that Hingis lost to Graf as well at Wimbledon, same as Jana.
Martinez was Qf, SF, 4rd, SF, just a bit better than Jana and Hingis.

Its a toss up, probably the way they ended the year was exactly as it was.. but eventhough Martinez was 4th ranked at the end of the year, Hingis was on the way up and Martinez on her way down.. she even fell off the top ten in 1997 for instance.

It was very tough... the 4th, 5th and 6th.. not so much for you initial question thread :lol:

hingis-seles
Oct 4th, 2010, 11:13 AM
Seles struggled with her shoulder all year long (she didn't play from Tokyo in Feb till Madrid the week before Roland Garros, where she gave Jana a walkover or retired injured, I forget) as she opted against surgery.

Hingis ended 1996 ranked #4 in the world in the official rankings.

Matt01
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:29 PM
2nd Seles (1 Slam, 1 Final)
3rd Sanchez (2 Slam finals)

But the best player of the year was Spirlea who had her breakthrough on Amelia Island :hearts:

irma
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:59 PM
Seles struggled with her shoulder all year long (she didn't play from Tokyo in Feb till Madrid the week before Roland Garros, where she gave Jana a walkover or retired injured, I forget) as she opted against surgery.

Hingis ended 1996 ranked #4 in the world in the official rankings.


It's because they changed to the new rankingsystem during the offseason.

hingis-seles
Oct 5th, 2010, 01:17 AM
It's because they changed to the new rankingsystem during the offseason.

Ah, yes. The new ranking system which led her to achieving the #1 ranking earlier than she should have.

spencercarlos
Oct 5th, 2010, 02:20 AM
Ah, yes. The new ranking system which led her to achieving the #1 ranking earlier than she should have.
Exactly Graf lost her number one ranking on April 1997?? when she had 3 slams and the YEC titles on her ranking :(

mick1303
Oct 5th, 2010, 01:21 PM
According to my “weighted” ranking (http://www.talkabouttennis.com/forum/blog.php?b=186) the results for 1996 are as follows:

Player_________________________WR
Graf, Steffi________________19.15959
Seles, Monica_______________14.05796
Sanchez Vicario, Arantxa____11.39284
Novotna, Jana_______________11.13827
Davenport, Lindsay___________9.93777
Martinez, Conchita___________9.56912
Hingis, Martina______________9.23625
Huber, Anke__________________9.08931
Majoli, Iva__________________8.14327
Date, Kimiko_________________7.34145

samn
Oct 5th, 2010, 07:58 PM
Exactly Graf lost her number one ranking on April 1997?? when she had 3 slams and the YEC titles on her ranking :(

Yeah, but it sort of evened things out for Graf in that one could say that she spent more time ranked #1 in late 1994 and early 1995 than she deserved to. The one who got really shafted was poor Arantxa: she'd have gotten to #1 a lot sooner with the additive ranking system and I don't think Steffi would have regained the top spot right after winning Roland Garros 1995. Under the divisor ASV's reign as #1 was just a blip. (And I'm generally a fan of the divisor ranking system. It's just that players like Davenport/Mauresmo/Jankovic/Safina later spent so much time at #1 without being the best player in any way, shape or form, so it just seems a tad unfair that ASV, who worked so hard to get to the top and certainly deserved the ranking, stayed there only for a few months.)

gabybackhand
Oct 5th, 2010, 09:06 PM
Not to mention that maybe Sabatini, who got SO close to the top spot with the average system, would have probably become Nş1 had the new system been in use when she peaked earlier in the decade.

samn
Oct 5th, 2010, 09:37 PM
I wonder if Martinez would have gotten to #1 in 1995 under the additive or Best N ranking systems. At point she led the Race to the Chase (or whatever the total points tally used to be called back then) fairly late in the season even though Graf held three Slams and the Lipton.

spencercarlos
Oct 6th, 2010, 02:41 AM
Not to mention that maybe Sabatini, who got SO close to the top spot with the average system, would have probably become Nş1 had the new system been in use when she peaked earlier in the decade.
Been there done those calculations already.
Sabatini had more Kraft Tour points than Graf and Seles exactly 3 weeks prior the Usopen 1991. Also had Sabatini SKIPPED Montreal and Los Angeles 1991, both which she played injured she would have been ahead of Seles and Graf for at least 3 weeks as well and this under the divisor system... The bad management by Gaby´s team was.. "Gaby needs to win Los Angeles and Montreal to be number one", when Skipping these events would have upped her average way more than if she had won those :lol: . Gaby played another event on a rush, 1991 Hamburg, after her busy spring schedule without any need (because she had 3rd loss in 1990 at the German Open), had she schedule herself a litte better and she could have been number one for at least month, probably more..

Graf skipped Montreal 1991, which she won in 1990 and her average ranking went up so she ended ahread of Seles going into the Usopen... maybe it was a smart movement or not, but not even if Graf had won that Monreal 1991 her average would not have gone up... she skipped it and got her rewards...

On a side Note Martinez would have been number one under the additive ranking systems, just after the Usopen 1995 :lol: just when Graf had 3 slams and Miami as Samn said, Conchita with 0 slam finals.. That is why the divisor ranking was simply the best system IMO..

samn
Oct 6th, 2010, 06:25 AM
Graf skipped Montreal 1991, which she won in 1990 and her average ranking went up so she ended ahread of Seles going into the Usopen... maybe it was a smart movement or not, but not even if Graf had won that Monreal 1991 her average would not have gone up... she skipped it and got her rewards...



Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y1orAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5dkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3229,2699745&dq=graf+shoulder+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. :lol: Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.

spencercarlos
Oct 6th, 2010, 07:13 AM
Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y1orAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5dkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3229,2699745&dq=graf+shoulder+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. :lol: Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.
Oh ok great, i concede that. But was a fact that Graf defending champion in San Diego 1990 and she would not have earned any more ranking points had she won that same event in 1991, she skipped it and her average went up and she was barely number one again going into the Usopen... Sabatini face this exact same scenario, but their team got the concept wrong. She already had played a heavy schedule in 1991, had won several titles, reached another couple of finals, and she was a little injured going into the hardcourt season, but again "she HAD TO WIN LA and Montreal".. and that was not the case really.. IMO..

I did this calculatons a couple years ago, because LVDTennis kept telling me that Sabatini "WAS NOT CLOSE" to number one. We all know she had to beat Seles at the French Open 1991, or that she had to win Wimbledon as well. But even how Rg 91 and Wimbledon 91 went she would have been number under the average ranking systems had she skipped those events (which she had relative early exits in 1990). Or number one under the cummulative points post 1996 system after Los Angeles 1991 :p..

spencercarlos
Oct 6th, 2010, 07:21 AM
Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y1orAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5dkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3229,2699745&dq=graf+shoulder+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. :lol: Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.
Graf was already pissed about her backhand in 1991, with the multiple defeats against Sabatini, she even tried for a couple of two hand backhands in Amelia Island 1991 and Miami 1991. Those were the days where Gaby kept coming in almost on every point...:worship:

The point is that, it was before Fed Cup 1991..

irma
Oct 6th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Graf was already pissed about her backhand in 1991, with the multiple defeats against Sabatini, she even tried for a couple of two hand backhands in Amelia Island 1991 and Miami 1991. Those were the days where Gaby kept coming in almost on every point...:worship:

The point is that, it was before Fed Cup 1991..

Steffi was definitely injured in that fed cup match and that's why she was hitting double handed backhands. She was in a totally different position mentally then she had been in the spring.

Steffi also skipped Washington and she was already number 1 that week.

hingis-seles
Oct 7th, 2010, 01:42 PM
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jboTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eZADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6874,3987496&hl=en

:D

samn
Oct 8th, 2010, 06:37 AM
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jboTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eZADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6874,3987496&hl=en

:D

Did you find it odd, as I did, that in the two tennis articles that were next to each other in that paper, surnames were used to refer to the men whereas the women were referred to by their first names? (As in "Agassi crashes out", "Courier wins", and "Monica tells Steffi to shut up".) I then realised that we do it too when we refer to the Martinas and Chrissies, Steffis and Gabys, but rarely to the Petes and Andres or Borises and Stefans. I wonder if it says something about how society treats and perceives female athletes.

justineheninfan
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:40 AM
It is amazing to read Conchita would have gotten to #1 in 1995 under the newer system. 1995 was her best year ever but it ultimately will be remembered as the year that conclusively showed her limitations amongst the games very elite as despite her great year she failed in all 4 slam semifinals that year. So if she were to reach #1 over Graf who won all 3 slams she played gives some insight into how comical the more revised ranking systems are.

samn
Oct 8th, 2010, 10:24 AM
It is amazing to read Conchita would have gotten to #1 in 1995 under the newer system. 1995 was her best year ever but it ultimately will be remembered as the year that conclusively showed her limitations amongst the games very elite as despite her great year she failed in all 4 slam semifinals that year. So if she were to reach #1 over Graf who won all 3 slams she played gives some insight into how comical the more revised ranking systems are.

Do you want a worse example than that of how egregious the additive system can be? This happened in doubles but under the same ranking system as the Best 18 used in singles. In 1998 Martina Hingis joined an elite club of players who have won a calendar year Grand Slam in doubles by winning the Australian Open with Mirjana Lucic and the remaining three Grand Slam finals with Jana Novotna. The team of Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva lost in all four Slam finals that year to Hingis and her partner.

And guess what? Zvereva finished the year ranked #1 in doubles ahead of Hingis. Apparently even completing the Grand Slam wasn't good enough to secure the year-end #1 ranking for Hingis! That alone ought to tell us that Best N rewards quantity more than quality.

hingis-seles
Oct 8th, 2010, 06:36 PM
Did you find it odd, as I did, that in the two tennis articles that were next to each other in that paper, surnames were used to refer to the men whereas the women were referred to by their first names? (As in "Agassi crashes out", "Courier wins", and "Monica tells Steffi to shut up".) I then realised that we do it too when we refer to the Martinas and Chrissies, Steffis and Gabys, but rarely to the Petes and Andres or Borises and Stefans. I wonder if it says something about how society treats and perceives female athletes.

I have often thought about this and am glad you brought it up. It is a reflection on how, even as the most ardent supporters of women's tennis, we are just as affected by societial perception of female athletes, even if it is at a subconscious level. It could also be due to people feeling a closeness to "their" female player, as generally the women tend to be involved in drama and catty behaviour far more often than men.

And guess what? Zvereva finished the year ranked #1 in doubles ahead of Hingis. Apparently even completing the Grand Slam wasn't good enough to secure the year-end #1 ranking for Hingis! That alone ought to tell us that Best N rewards quantity more than quality.

I remember this - nothing tops this as an example of how absurd the additive system is.

gabybackhand
Oct 9th, 2010, 10:21 PM
Add to that the fact that so many players have reached Nş1 lately without a really deserving season or streak. How come Wozniacki is now to be Nş1, when you see such a pedestrian (for the top spot) record for her since October 2009 up to now, she did not win ANY of the five majors, not even Miami or Rome, and even her US Open final is erased of her rankings by now, and yet she is to surpass Serena, the clear best player in most big events. ASV's 94 season was extremely better and yet she ranked Nş1 only in 1995. Novotna 98 and Sabatini between US Opens 90-91 had clearly a better streak to reach the top and didn't. Rankings can really suck don't you think?

hingis-seles
Oct 10th, 2010, 01:05 PM
I think more than the rankings, you also have to put some of the blame on the players. Someone with Wozniacki's record would never have reached the top spot because Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Seles, etc would never have allowed it. If Serena only decides to play 6-7 events a year, how on earth does she deserve to be #1?

This is just another part in the overall deterioration of the women's game: the players aren't as great as those before them and it shows in the quality of matches, the winners of the Grand Slam events, and the recent string of world number ones.

samn
Oct 10th, 2010, 01:10 PM
I think more than the rankings, you also have to put some of the blame on the players. Someone with Wozniacki's record would never have reached the top spot because Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Seles, etc would never have allowed it. If Serena only decides to play 6-7 events a year, how on earth does she deserve to be #1?

This is just another part in the overall deterioration of the women's game: the players aren't as great as those before them and it shows in the quality of matches, the winners of the Grand Slam events, and the recent string of world number ones.

I think that the "Only the Slams matter" mentality is partly to blame for this. Players like Serena know that even the so-called experts these days only look at Slams to evaluate the worth of a player, so they have no qualms about treating the rest of the pro circuit as a joke and making it fairly obvious that they're not even trying that hard at those events.

mick1303
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Purely additive (cumulative) or purely relative ranking system would always have flaws. IMO the answer lays in combining them.

mick1303
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:40 AM
I think that the "Only the Slams matter" mentality is partly to blame for this. Players like Serena know that even the so-called experts these days only look at Slams to evaluate the worth of a player, so they have no qualms about treating the rest of the pro circuit as a joke and making it fairly obvious that they're not even trying that hard at those events.

This is so true! Non-Slam events in women's tennis present the very different challenge. Instead of immense mental pressure there is a physical challenge of playing several days in a row (in ATP Slams it is negated by 5-set format).
And who is better equipped to handle mental pressure than experienced players, who won multiple Slams already?

justineheninfan
Oct 11th, 2010, 05:06 PM
Add to that the fact that so many players have reached Nş1 lately without a really deserving season or streak. How come Wozniacki is now to be Nş1, when you see such a pedestrian (for the top spot) record for her since October 2009 up to now, she did not win ANY of the five majors, not even Miami or Rome, and even her US Open final is erased of her rankings by now, and yet she is to surpass Serena, the clear best player in most big events. ASV's 94 season was extremely better and yet she ranked Nş1 only in 1995. Novotna 98 and Sabatini between US Opens 90-91 had clearly a better streak to reach the top and didn't. Rankings can really suck don't you think?

I agree with what you are saying but I never thought Novotna deserved to be ranked #1 in 1998. Had she won the U.S Open following her Wimbledon win I agree she would have, but the computer would have ranked her #1 too if she had. She had Wimbledon and the YEC on her last 12 month record for awhile but it still was never enough when she didnt play Australia, had a quarterfinal loss at the French, and semifinal/quarterfinal loss at the U.S Open, and not that many tournaments win for the rolling 12 month period on her record.

And I also not sure about Sabatini deserving #1 at any point in 1991 though I wouldnt have complained had she gotten there either. Seles after Australia 1991 was always the reigning holder of atleast 2 slams and the YEC.

samn
Oct 11th, 2010, 08:39 PM
And I also not sure about Sabatini deserving #1 at any point in 1991 though I wouldnt have complained had she gotten there either. Seles after Australia 1991 was always the reigning holder of atleast 2 slams and the YEC.

Sabatini had a mathematical shot at #1 going into Roland Garros 1991; she needed to win the title to get to the top spot, as I recall. One could make a case for her in the summer of '91 had she managed to win Wimbledon because Seles, at that point, would have had no points at all from Wimbledon and only 3R points from the (1990) US Open in her total. Wasn't there some speculation at the time that Seles skipped Wimbledon in order to protect her top ranking?

Much as I like Steffi, I thought she had no business being ranked #1 for a couple of weeks leading up to the US Open that year. She was far from being the best player on the tour that year and only got the top spot because her injury forced her to skip San Diego, Washington, and Toronto. Once Seles defended her French crown, I thought she was pretty solidly established as the #1 with the Australian, French, Slims, and Lipton crowns under her belt.

Rollo
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:19 PM
I agree with what you are saying but I never thought Novotna deserved to be ranked #1 in 1998. Had she won the U.S Open following her Wimbledon win I agree she would have, but the computer would have ranked her #1 too if she had

I seem to recall that had Novotna won her 1998 semi vs Hingis she would have been #1 when the next rankings came out.

samn
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:43 PM
I seem to recall that had Novotna won her 1998 semi vs Hingis she would have been #1 when the next rankings came out.

No, I think someone pointed out a few months ago that Novotna needed to win the final to get to #1. Had she beaten Hingis in the semis, the only certainty would have been that Hingis would lose the top spot and her ranking would have been up for grabs in the final. Didn't it take Davenport a few more weeks to finally displace Hingis?

Rollo
Oct 11th, 2010, 11:17 PM
No, I think someone pointed out a few months ago that Novotna needed to win the final to get to #1. Had she beaten Hingis in the semis, the only certainty would have been that Hingis would lose the top spot and her ranking would have been up for grabs in the final. Didn't it take Davenport a few more weeks to finally displace Hingis?

I was going on memory-sometimes a bad idea after 12 years! I looked this up in the New York Times. Jana would have become #1 had

A. She beaten Hingis in the semis AND
B. Venus defeated Davenport in the semis OR

Jana won the whole event. Novotna had an impressive run during the summer-winning 27 of 29 matches after her loss to Seles at the French up to the US Open loss to Hingis.

justineheninfan
Oct 11th, 2010, 11:40 PM
Sabatini had a mathematical shot at #1 going into Roland Garros 1991; she needed to win the title to get to the top spot, as I recall. One could make a case for her in the summer of '91 had she managed to win Wimbledon because Seles, at that point, would have had no points at all from Wimbledon and only 3R points from the (1990) US Open in her total. Wasn't there some speculation at the time that Seles skipped Wimbledon in order to protect her top ranking?

Much as I like Steffi, I thought she had no business being ranked #1 for a couple of weeks leading up to the US Open that year. She was far from being the best player on the tour that year and only got the top spot because her injury forced her to skip San Diego, Washington, and Toronto. Once Seles defended her French crown, I thought she was pretty solidly established as the #1 with the Australian, French, Slims, and Lipton crowns under her belt.

I agree Sabatini would have deserved the #1 ranking right after Wimbledon had she served out the final of Wimbledon over Graf. Of course she didnt though so I dont specifically believe she should have been ranked #1 at any point over Seles with 2 slams and the YEC on her record almost all year (until she won the Open to close any #1 battle for the year for good) although as I said I wouldnt have complained if she had taken it at one point all the same.

As for Steffi not deserving to be ranked #1 well she beat Seles in both their matches that year and beat Sabatini in their biggest match, so I dont think she was that far from being the best. Seles, Graf, and Sabatini were all fairly close that year. I do think Seles should have been ranked #1 all year pretty much after Australia based on previous 12 month results though as she was the holder of 2 slams and the YEC then.

And I do think Seles wimped out of Wimbledon honestly. I never felt she was really too injured to play. I do think she knew she wasnt going to win and probably wasnt even going to make the final (and in hindsight I still think Steffi, Sabatini, and possibly Capriati and Martina, would have all beaten her that year had they played her), so she skipped it to protect her ranking under the average points system then. She had a deal with Yonex about getting extra money for staying #1 so....Normally I think she would have played, since if she skipped Wimbledon in years she knew she wasnt going to win she probably skips it every year, LOL, but this year was a special case with the endorsement deal she had with the #1 ranking clause.

gabybackhand
Oct 12th, 2010, 12:31 AM
It's interesting to read your thoughts about Sabatini and Novotna, and I agree with most of you said. On my side, I'm not saying that Gabriela deserved the top spot at any time before US Open 91, as Seles had 2 Slams, the other major and the Lipton under her belt, probably Gaby deserved to be at least Nş2 at some point, she was better than Graf overall even if Steffi won Wimbledon, they both had one Slam but Gaby some other better results IMHO. Had Gaby won Wimbledon, she should have been Nş1 for sure. But what I'm stating is how Sabatini would have deserved much more the top spot than Wozniacki taking into account Caroline's accomplishemts so far, at least Gabriela HAD one Slam and another final and a semi, plus her final at the other major and some big titles as Rome and Hilton Head, together with several wins over EVERY top player. Jana too HAD won a Slam and the YEC and some other good results when she had her chance for the top, and yet these tow never got to Nş1 but Wozniacki, among others, with a poorer streak did. If you see she only got to Top Ten status around June 2009 and she is NOW Nş1, with remarkable but not at all incredible results, there must be something really bad about the ranking system.

justineheninfan
Oct 12th, 2010, 05:46 AM
The womens game today is a mess in so many ways. A really weak field which is dominated at the moment by a past her prime Serena and a part time Clijsters. A bad ranking system which was ill thought out from the start, and showed cracks early in the decade but is now really being exposed now. The actual best players today often injured or not playing enough, particularly with the flawed ranking system.

In a way my heart breaks for players like Sabatini, Novotna, even Conchita Martinez. They all could have won many more slams today and spent oodles at time at #1 (atleast as a not fully respected computer #1 like most of the #1s of the last 3 years, if not better). Sabatini or Martinez could win many Frenchs today, only a good Henin is better of todays players on clay. Even the likes of Kimiko Date you wonder how well she would do in her prime today seeing how competitive she is at 39 and 40 years old, after a 13 year retirement.

A constantly choking most times underperforming clown who isnt even amazingly talented to begin with like Kuznetsova can win 2 slams today and might even end up winning 3 before she retires. A poor womens Fernandez or something like Wozniacki could end up winning 4-6 slams as she is the top player of her age group. And a joke like Safina can even spend almost a whole year ranked #1. How unlucky someone like Gaby was to be in the era of sharks like Navratilova, Graf, Seles, and even Sanchez instead of today.

samn
Oct 12th, 2010, 06:27 AM
I was going on memory-sometimes a bad idea after 12 years! I looked this up in the New York Times. Jana would have become #1 had

A. She beaten Hingis in the semis AND
B. Venus defeated Davenport in the semis OR

Jana won the whole event. Novotna had an impressive run during the summer-winning 27 of 29 matches after her loss to Seles at the French up to the US Open loss to Hingis.

And, if I'm not mistaken, the Davenport/Williams match was the first semi-final that year. I don't know if Novotna knew what she needed to do to get to #1, but Davenport's win in the first semi meant that Novotna needed to beat both Hingis and Davenport to become #1.

justineheninfan
Oct 12th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Yeah Jana only became #1 by reaching the final if Davenport lost to Venus in the semis. Presuming Davenport still beat Venus in the 2nd semi had Jana beaten Hingis in the first (why wouldnt she have really) Jana would have needed to beat Lindsay in the final to take #1. If Lindsay had beaten Jana in the final I think Hingis would have dropped to #3.

Jana was always Lindsay's b--ch so I am not sure how much chance Jana would have had in the hypothetical final. She had match point vs Lindsay the previous year when they played at the U.S Open in the quarterfinals but failed to convert.

tommystar
Oct 16th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Novotna had an impressive run during the summer-winning 27 of 29 matches after her loss to Seles at the French up to the US Open loss to Hingis.

Yeah, that's nice, but she never won a sinlge match after the US Open in the whole season. :(

PlayByPlay
Oct 17th, 2010, 03:38 PM
Good Informatiion right here back in 1996.

rachely476
Oct 27th, 2010, 07:11 AM
According to my “weighted” ranking (http://www.talkabouttennis.com/forum/blog.php?b=186) the results for 1996 are as follows:

Player_________________________WR
Graf, Steffi________________19.15959
Seles, Monica_______________14.05796
Sanchez Vicario, Arantxa____11.39284
Novotna, Jana_______________11.13827
Davenport, Lindsay___________9.93777
Martinez, Conchita___________9.56912
Hingis, Martina______________9.23625
Huber, Anke__________________9.08931
Majoli, Iva__________________8.14327
Date, Kimiko_________________7.34145

Thanks you for the reply.

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