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Tennis Fool
Jan 18th, 2011, 10:52 PM
This article is only really interesting for the averages below.
Also, some interesting notes on the men's game.



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703959104576082203738767470.html?m od=WSJ_LifeStyle_Sports_RightTopCarousel_1#
In women's tennis, No. 1 used to mean "best." Lately it means better. Kind of. Barely.
http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/PJ-AY907_THECOU_D_20110117165702.jpg
Southcreek Global/Zuma Press Caroline Wozniacki
The last four women to reach the top ranking—Caroline Wozniacki, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic—have won a total of one Grand Slam singles title and have never been considered true favorites to win major tournaments. Many even thought Ms. Wozniacki would struggle in her first-round Australian Open match on Monday. (She beat Gisela Dulko in straight sets.)

The poor standing of recent Nos. 1 has pundits wondering whether today's top-ranked players are worse than those in the past or whether everyone else is just better. It's a little of both. The women's game has more depth today, although Serena Williams, No. 1 as recently as last year, has won 65% of her matches against top-10 opponents in her career.
The men's game shows this can be cyclical. For about a decade starting in 1995, 10 different men were No. 1, and only one, Gustavo Kuerten, has a career winning record against top-10 players. Then along came Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have stomped on the top 10 at a 67% clip and won 21 of the past 23 major titles.
The 20-year-old Ms. Wozniacki may not be a Federer-in-waiting, but Kim Clijsters, the U.S. Open champ and a contender to retake No. 1 this year, started her career with an identical 18-26 record vs. the top-10.
—Tom Perrotta

Stiffer Competition

Here are the career records against top-10 players for the women who've been No. 1 since Steffi Graf took over the ranking in 1987.

PLAYER WINS LOSSES WIN PCT
Steffi Graf 160 53 .751
Serena Williams 102 56 .646
Monica Seles 113 72 .611
Justine Henin 86 56 .606
Venus Williams 113 74 .604
Maria Sharapova 47 31 .603
Martina Hingis 103 73 .585
Lindsay Davenport 128 92 .582
Kim Clijsters 77 59 .566
Amelie Mauresmo 76 80 .487
Ana Ivanovic 29 37 .439
Caroline Wozniacki 18 26 .409
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 78 120 .394
Jelena Jankovic 34 55 .382
Jennifer Capriati 50 90 .357
Dinara Safina 26 56 .317

Serena y Monica
Jan 19th, 2011, 12:50 AM
So this...Woz is just not brave enough...in my opinion...she is no Kim.

Tennis Fool
Jan 19th, 2011, 01:20 AM
Shocking that she actually has a higher percentage than Arantxa and Jennifer...

Miss Amor
Jan 19th, 2011, 01:27 AM
Shocking that she actually has a higher percentage than Arantxa and Jennifer...

When Arantxa was number 1, she had to still play against these players http://tennis.quickfound.net/history/wta_top_20_1989-present.html whereas Wozniacki's top 10 wins are against players like Radwanska/Zvonareva/Dementieva/Azarenka . Same thing with Capriati (who arguably, had an even harder competition).

But at the end of the day I guess, Caro can only beat the players on the other side of the court (or lose to them in case they are WS or Belgian ).

Lord Choc Ice
Jan 19th, 2011, 01:51 AM
Ana has better % than JJ. :eek: I'm a bit surprised by that.

homogenius
Jan 19th, 2011, 02:03 AM
Ana has better % than JJ. :eek: I'm a bit surprised by that.

Mostly cause when she sucks (like her last 2 years)she rarely make it far enough in a tourny to face a top10.

pov
Jan 19th, 2011, 03:12 AM
In women's tennis, No. 1 used to mean "best.:rolleyes:

This is the kind of nonsense that so many fans grab onto. #1 has neveer meant "best" in men's or women's tennis.

It means now, what it has always meant, the person who has the most points over a 52-week period.

The incredibly stupid thing is that if #1 is questioned then the whole ranking system is being questioned and s top-10 would also be questionable.

Anabelcroft
Jan 19th, 2011, 03:42 AM
Steffi Graf on top :)

Serena y Monica
Jan 19th, 2011, 03:46 AM
:rolleyes:

This is the kind of nonsense that so many fans grab onto. #1 has neveer meant "best" in men's or women's tennis.

It means now, what it has always meant, the person who has the most points over a 52-week period.

The incredibly stupid thing is that if #1 is questioned then the whole ranking system is being questioned and s top-10 would also be questionable.

So lol...Sorry the exact opposite...being #1 has always meant the best.

OsloErik
Jan 19th, 2011, 03:56 AM
So this...Woz is just not brave enough...in my opinion...she is no Kim.

Shocking that she actually has a higher percentage than Arantxa and Jennifer...

Worth noting, for both sides of the argument, that she's played the fewest matches against top 10 opponents (by about 35) of any of the women listed. She has time to either reverse her sub-.500 results or plummet to sub-.400, both of which seem plausible.

So lol...Sorry the exact opposite...being #1 has always meant the best.

Maybe the better way to put it: #1 has always IMPLIED the best. There were stretched when Chris Evert was #1 when everyone knew Martina Navratilova was the best player in the world. The 1999-2002 stretch frequently featured a #1 player who wasn't the best player in the world. #1 implies that you are the best, but there are always contexts to the story. Graf-Seles being a notable example, but the Serena part-time player storyline (which I will emphasize in not of her own doing) is roughly analogous.

Kooyong
Jan 19th, 2011, 07:32 AM
I found this list very interesting with some surprises, but if i had to draw up a ranking of the best 16 Women players from the past 20 years then this list would be close to how i would rank the players.

I might have Hingis above Sharapova and would place Capriati and Sanchez-Vicario a little higher but this list is a pretty good guide on Women's Tennis


PLAYER WINS LOSSES WIN PCT
Steffi Graf 160 53 .751
Serena Williams 102 56 .646
Monica Seles 113 72 .611
Justine Henin 86 56 .606
Venus Williams 113 74 .604
Maria Sharapova 47 31 .603
Martina Hingis 103 73 .585
Lindsay Davenport 128 92 .582
Kim Clijsters 77 59 .566
Amelie Mauresmo 76 80 .487
Ana Ivanovic 29 37 .439
Caroline Wozniacki 18 26 .409
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 78 120 .394
Jelena Jankovic 34 55 .382
Jennifer Capriati 50 90 .357
Dinara Safina 26 56 .317

Lord Choc Ice
Jan 19th, 2011, 09:20 AM
Mostly cause when she sucks (like her last 2 years)she rarely make it far enough in a tourny to face a top10.

Well, JJ has played and won against a lot of the top 10 during Ana's slump period while Ana has played far far fewer matches as you said...and she still hasn't caught up to Ana's %. :shrug: It works both ways.

Tennis Fool
Jan 19th, 2011, 11:15 PM
Steffi's average is so incredibly high. Interesting that it's never argued whether 1987-1990 was a weak period in the Top 10 that allowed her to get that average.