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ugarte
Jun 18th, 2011, 06:43 PM
HI
FOR THE FANS TO TENNIS RESULTS A NEW BOOK ON WOMEN S TENNIS .
IT S CONCERNED WOMEN S TENNIS 1968-1984 WITH DRAWS AND HISTORY FROM THIS PERIOD.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE FROM JOHN DOLAN
IF YOU SEE HIS SITE

www.womenstennisguide.co.uk

THANK YOU SO MUCH


MIGUEL

austinrunner
Jun 18th, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'm not quite sure why I would buy that book when I have this forum.... :worship:

SW15sport
Jun 19th, 2011, 12:29 PM
Hey there. I respect that everyone has the right to their opinion. Its obvious several individuals have worked tirelessly and passionately in taking on the mammoth task of attempting to document every tournament result over the course of a century. This site is a tremendous asset to fans of women's tennis all over the world and through everyone's shared contribution we can help set the record straight for future generations.

My focus was a bit more defined. I chose the founding era of professional tennis from 1968 to 1984 having working in women's pro tennis for many years, since I was aware of what was missing in the WTA computer. Through my contact over the years with various sources (ex-players, officials, tournaments, administrators and the press) I have diligently managed to piece together the main women's tournaments during that era to include info thats been missing for so long. Total prize money for over 30 draws each year, including seedings, tiebreaker scores, prize money round by round breakdowns, times of matches, if it was once recorded, I have tried my best to unearth it. I have also reviewed each key match (including those in the majors) and the happenings that took place in it.

I have noticed on here, with the exception of the Australian tournaments, World Tennis magazine seems to have been used as a primary resource. While that is invaluable, it does contain errors and missing frequent results (from such notable events as the German, Irish and South African Opens, as well as the US Clay Courts). Even World of Tennis annuals aren't immune, as there is a famous example of an incorrect score at the 1971 VS of Chattanooga where King d. Durr 6-3 6-2 in the SF, not 6-0 6-0 as has been noted. WOMEN'S TENNIS 1968-84: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE is simply my attempt at pooling all of my resources throughout the years, putting these results, stats and stories down in to one collector's volume so that tennis fans and the media had a comprehensive resource of that important era.

This is not my attempt to undermine anything thats been done on this forum. Recounting history is a shared effort. If there are fans out there that love the era from 1968 to 1984, reading those results with some old and new anecdotes, then I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

austinrunner
Jun 19th, 2011, 06:39 PM
I have noticed on here, with the exception of the Australian tournaments, World Tennis magazine seems to have been used as a primary resource.
That definitely is NOT true for me. I mainly use contemporary newspaper accounts of matches, which are generally reliable.

alfajeffster
Jun 20th, 2011, 08:20 AM
Why no Margaret Court pics on your web site. The 1970 Grand Slam and the outstanding 1973 campaign alone deserve a photo or two on the front page. Zina Garrison? Hardly in the conversation. Are there more pics of the players still around in 1968 like Maria Bueno, Margaret Court and Ann Jones, just to mention a few. I understand that when Billie Jean lends her name to something, it's generally in support of the Billie Jean version of how things went (she signed off on an article I did for a newsletter back in 1995), but pictures of Margaret's Grand Slam are woefully rare given the magnitude of the achievement.

tennisvideos
Jun 20th, 2011, 09:22 AM
Why no Margaret Court pics on your web site. The 1970 Grand Slam and the outstanding 1973 campaign alone deserve a photo or two on the front page. Zina Garrison? Hardly in the conversation. Are there more pics of the players still around in 1968 like Maria Bueno, Margaret Court and Ann Jones, just to mention a few. I understand that when Billie Jean lends her name to something, it's generally in support of the Billie Jean version of how things went (she signed off on an article I did for a newsletter back in 1995), but pictures of Margaret's Grand Slam are woefully rare given the magnitude of the achievement.

Naturally, being a staunch supporter of Margaret Court, I had wondered the very same thing. It just goes to demonstrate once more that Court, and her achievements, are indeed underestimated.

Anyway, well done John. I have purchased a copy and look forward to adding it to my collection.

Sumarokov-Elston
Jun 20th, 2011, 09:36 AM
Yes, three pictures of BJK in the gallery and none of Margaret Court, yet there is one of the British Federation Cup team!

Margaret Court is considered by very many people to be the best player of all time, including of the era of 1968-84. She is the only player in the mentioned period to win a calendar Grand Slam - and she is not there??? (Not to mention the two other years when she won three out of four slams!!). Yet we have Andrea Jaegar, Sue Barker, Zina Garrison and others who never won a slam at all......

I can well believe this was not the intention of the author, but the choice of the publishers, marketing people, etc....

SW15sport
Jun 20th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Good observation.

Let it be known I am a huge supporter of Marge, and had I been able to choose from a nice selection of pix, she would have been right up there on the cover, due to her superlative record from 1968-73, and even prior to that. But as the last poster correctly touched on, I was limited by the photographs supplied to me by a photographer who covered the WTA Tour from 1976-84. Inside there are additional pix of Barker, Casals, Jaeger, Wade, but I did manage to get my hands on a very feminine action pic of Mrs. Court (wearing her first tennis dress designed by Ted Tinling during the 1972 Dewar Cup). Alas that pic didn't work well with the style of the head shots chosen for the cover. For Durr fans, I reached out to her to try and get an iconic one of her "in backhand crouching pose" to include inside, (just like your avatar pic Craig), but alas she didn't get back to me in time for printing.

My reasoning for picking those five ladies on the cover (in addition to being of good enough quality and similar in style), incase you are wondering, in the interests of "fairness" I decided on the first five women to hold the official WTA computer ranking since its inception in 1975. In marketing feedback also Margaret, despite her superlative record, still oddly lags behind names like Evert, Navratilova, King, Gong and Austin (who has a big profile in Grand Slam markets due to her commentary on host broadcast networks) in popularity, unless we're talking solely in Australian or Ministerial circles ;-)

The gallery section showcases some of the work of the photographer, rather than what is inside the book, which adheres more to the main characters of the era I focussed on. A lot of these pix haven't been seen before, but if you feel it is misleading, I will consider removing them.

thanks for your feedback.

austinrunner
Jun 20th, 2011, 07:09 PM
Does your book provide round-by-round doubles results (not just the finals)?

SW15sport
Jun 20th, 2011, 10:29 PM
Round by round doubles only for season-ending championships and Wightman Cup. All doubles finals contain seedings and prize money for both teams where listed.

Had I included round by round doubles for all draws, I would have ended up with a book over 1,000 pages, costing almost double the price, weighing almost 2kg, not to mention another couple of months of data entry, which unfortunately time didn't permit.

Rollo
Jun 20th, 2011, 10:56 PM
I have noticed on here, with the exception of the Australian tournaments, World Tennis magazine seems to have been used as a primary resource. While that is invaluable, it does contain errors and missing frequent results (from such notable events as the German, Irish and South African Opens, as well as the US Clay Courts). Even World of Tennis annuals aren't immune, as there is a famous example of an incorrect score at the 1971 VS of Chattanooga where King d. Durr 6-3 6-2 in the SF, not 6-0 6-0 as has been noted. WOMEN'S TENNIS 1968-84: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE is simply my attempt at pooling all of my resources throughout the years, putting these results, stats and stories down in to one collector's volume so that tennis fans and the media had a comprehensive resource of that important era.


I'll definitely be taking a look at your book. It sounds like an invaluable resource-your connections to the tour being a definite bonus! And from personal experience there's no doubt this was a labor of love of your part.

The critique about sources is well taken, though I would add that results are often also checked against the New York Times and other sources. Nonetheless there are errors. It bothers some people to admit mistakes, but in an endeavor like this we are usually relying on imperfect resources. No source is perfect, and all inevitably contain mistakes of one nature or another.

I've seen errors in World Tennis, American Lawn Tennis, books by Alan Little (whom I highly respect and is the Wimbledon librarian), the New York Times, etc.

The end results is that in my view we all make errors.

One advantage to posting results online is we can "catch" errors and update information. I look forward to seeing what's in your book SW15-and I hope at some point you'll have time to share some of your experiences from the tour with us!

alfajeffster
Jun 20th, 2011, 11:08 PM
...The gallery section showcases some of the work of the photographer, rather than what is inside the book, which adheres more to the main characters of the era I focussed on. A lot of these pix haven't been seen before, but if you feel it is misleading, I will consider removing them.

thanks for your feedback.

Oh don't remove a thing. You are absolutely right in that Margaret wasn't generally marketable during her career, and many (if not most) only remember the odd negative remarks she made at press conferences. Let's face it, she wasn't a party waiting to happen, especially with the likes of Billie Jean an ChrisAmerica in the limelight. Perhaps if Madge had continued her domination after the birth of her second child, things would've been different post the tennis explosion created by the Battle of the Sexes. The fact that she lost so badly to Riggs in the middle of the women's lib movement didn't advance her cause, either.

austinrunner
Jun 20th, 2011, 11:18 PM
Round by round doubles only for season-ending championships and Wightman Cup.
Pity.

chris whiteside
Jun 21st, 2011, 06:19 AM
I have noticed on here, with the exception of the Australian tournaments, World Tennis magazine seems to have been used as a primary resource. While that is invaluable, it does contain errors and missing frequent results (from such notable events as the German, Irish and South African Opens, as well as the US Clay Courts). Even World of Tennis annuals aren't immune, as there is a famous example of an incorrect score at the 1971 VS of Chattanooga where King d. Durr 6-3 6-2 in the SF, not 6-0 6-0 as has been noted. WOMEN'S TENNIS 1968-84: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE is simply my attempt at pooling all of my resources throughout the years, putting these results, stats and stories down in to one collector's volume so that tennis fans and the media had a comprehensive resource of that important era.


It was always understood that World Tennis did contain errors from time to time (but what doesn't? -even the USTA annual year book for 1967 wrongly carried the result that Francoise Durr had beaten BJK in their Federation Cup match of 1966!) and that it did indeed miss out results and even important events but it was by far the most comprehensive publication which most had ready access to. If any results which WT missed were noticed in other pub-lications they would be recorded.

You have to accept any results they published as correct - why or how could you start to query even one result unless something subsequently showed up elsewhere?

As Rollo says everything is reported from your source in good faith - if it turns out to be incorrect I don't see anything wrong in holding your hand up, admitting and rectifying it. And of course there's also human error which I would certainly admit to at times.

At long last though inadvertently you have cleared a major bugbear up for me! For a couple of years from time to time I would have mentioned that BJK had double-bageled both Francoise Durr and Ann Jones within the space of a couple of weeks in 1971. Then I noticed that results in the Forum had no such one for Frank.ie and checking a couple of mags confirmed this.

It's the sort of result which would immediately make an impression and hard to understand how you would wrongly pick it up but I just had to accept that I was completely wrong but now I know I wasn't going completely mad?

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if results from the George McCall Women's Pro tour are included.

The period from 1968-1974 is what I am most looking forward to.

Congrats on the project and on getting it published - hope it sells well.

SW15sport
Jun 21st, 2011, 08:47 AM
Hi Folks, quick update.

Thanks for your feedback. No one source is infallible, lets be clear on that. I have done my best to eliminate those errors but any volume of work will inevitably contain a few annoying typos, which i am hoping keen eyes on here might even spot. I didn't mean to turn the spotlight on WT Magazine (a terrific resource, which thankfully includes many first names), but while they rarely got scores incorrect (Richey v. Jones 1969 Vegas being an obvious example), they had an annoying habit of not confirming players who had byes or only including results of top players (see Caribbean circuit occasionally, the Irish, German and RSA Opens). Sometimes they didn't like to include the local players who only played once in a blue moon. Similarly the NY Times or any news outlet. Sometimes the Times wasn't even on-site and received the results via the local press officer or via an agency.

I was fortunate that I was able to cross reference with some accurate sources - from the players, with John Barrett and Alan Little at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Library and to obtain actual draw sheets themselves throughout my tenure at the WTA, which helped the cause endlessly. If in doubt I could choose from one of the five leading UK newspapers tended to cover the sport nationally and internationally, and was able to cross reference these from the thousands of international titles stored in all local languages on microfilm at the British Library.

I'll give you an example. One of the most difficult dilemmas I had was with the longest final in the Open Era (the 3 hour, 50 minute 1975 German Open final between Tomanova and Sawamatsu). All of the German press in Hamburg, World Tennis (US), Tennis World (UK) and World of Tennis annual reported the score as 7-6 5-7 10-8, when I had only the actual draw sheet saying 6-4 6-7(5-7) 10-8, the DTB annual and Matchball Italy magazine saying something similar. It turned out to be latter after several phone calls to Germany and speaking with Miss Tomanova herself. Apparently the media on-site got bored with the match and its endless rallies on Centre Court so they went over to Court No. 1 to watch the men's doubles final and reported the score incorrectly from the press officer -- after the two ladies had shook hands!

Regarding the George McCall pro Tour, while this revolutionary at the time and was considered to feature the first pro "events", in speaking to BJK now, the players themselves considered them "one or two night exhibitions" and not proper tournaments - similar to the Gunze, Clairol, Lion Cup events in the 1970s, early 1980s. Players and media look back on them as exhibition/limited entry events, by today's standards. I had this quandry when I started at the WTA, whether to discount the money and titles (Navratilova agreed with me), but in talking to Steve Flink and Bud Collins extensively, it would mean changing too many numbers for Evert, Navratilova, Austin and King (who were chiefly affected) and it was agreed to leave the numbers as they were, while recognising the fact that they weren't legitimate tournaments, since none of them were even counted on the WTA rankings post 1975. As such they are classified as "Special Events" separately in my book.

One of the primary reasons I wanted to write my book now was to take advantage of the sources I had available to me (former journalist Gerry Williams was invaluable in clarifying Dewar Cup history, as was John Barrett and his lovely wife, not to mention all the other players and officials), while they were still alive and I could ask them first hand for their recollections. History at best can be confusing and its funny how rules evolve and adapt over time.

Andy T
Jun 21st, 2011, 10:45 AM
Hi Folks, quick update.

Thanks for your feedback. No one source is infallible, lets be clear on that. I have done my best to eliminate those errors but any volume of work will inevitably contain a few annoying typos, which i am hoping keen eyes on here might even spot. I didn't mean to turn the spotlight on WT Magazine (a terrific resource, which thankfully includes many first names), but while they rarely got scores incorrect (Richey v. Jones 1969 Vegas being an obvious example), they had an annoying habit of not confirming players who had byes or only including results of top players (see Caribbean circuit occasionally, the Irish, German and RSA Opens). Sometimes they didn't like to include the local players who only played once in a blue moon. Similarly the NY Times or any news outlet. Sometimes the Times wasn't even on-site and received the results via the local press officer or via an agency.

I was fortunate that I was able to cross reference with some accurate sources - from the players, with John Barrett and Alan Little at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Library and to obtain actual draw sheets themselves throughout my tenure at the WTA, which helped the cause endlessly. If in doubt I could choose from one of the five leading UK newspapers tended to cover the sport nationally and internationally, and was able to cross reference these from the thousands of international titles stored in all local languages on microfilm at the British Library.

I'll give you an example. One of the most difficult dilemmas I had was with the longest final in the Open Era (the 3 hour, 50 minute 1975 German Open final between Tomanova and Sawamatsu). All of the German press in Hamburg, World Tennis (US), Tennis World (UK) and World of Tennis annual reported the score as 7-6 5-7 10-8, when I had only the actual draw sheet saying 6-4 6-7(5-7) 10-8, the DTB annual and Matchball Italy magazine saying something similar. It turned out to be latter after several phone calls to Germany and speaking with Miss Tomanova herself. Apparently the media on-site got bored with the match and its endless rallies on Centre Court so they went over to Court No. 1 to watch the men's doubles final and reported the score incorrectly from the press officer -- after the two ladies had shook hands!

Regarding the George McCall pro Tour, while this revolutionary at the time and was considered to feature the first pro "events", in speaking to BJK now, the players themselves considered them "one or two night exhibitions" and not proper tournaments - similar to the Gunze, Clairol, Lion Cup events in the 1970s, early 1980s. Players and media look back on them as exhibition/limited entry events, by today's standards. I had this quandry when I started at the WTA, whether to discount the money and titles (Navratilova agreed with me), but in talking to Steve Flink and Bud Collins extensively, it would mean changing too many numbers for Evert, Navratilova, Austin and King (who were chiefly affected) and it was agreed to leave the numbers as they were, while recognising the fact that they weren't legitimate tournaments, since none of them were even counted on the WTA rankings post 1975. As such they are classified as "Special Events" separately in my book.

One of the primary reasons I wanted to write my book now was to take advantage of the sources I had available to me (former journalist Gerry Williams was invaluable in clarifying Dewar Cup history, as was John Barrett and his lovely wife, not to mention all the other players and officials), while they were still alive and I could ask them first hand for their recollections. History at best can be confusing and its funny how rules evolve and adapt over time.

Many congratulations on your achievement; I'm sure tennis history will be the richer for your endeavours and I for one would love to have a copy of this book.

We are blessed on this forum to have contributors of the calibre of AndrewTas, Chris Whiteside, Austinrunner, Newmark and Rollo, amongst others, all of whose efforts in compiling results and articles, often spiced with personal recollections, have created an extraordinary resource. :worship:

Rollo
Jun 21st, 2011, 12:34 PM
I'll give you an example. One of the most difficult dilemmas I had was with the longest final in the Open Era (the 3 hour, 50 minute 1975 German Open final between Tomanova and Sawamatsu). All of the German press in Hamburg, World Tennis (US), Tennis World (UK) and World of Tennis annual reported the score as 7-6 5-7 10-8, when I had only the actual draw sheet saying 6-4 6-7(5-7) 10-8, the DTB annual and Matchball Italy magazine saying something similar. It turned out to be latter after several phone calls to Germany and speaking with Miss Tomanova herself. Apparently the media on-site got bored with the match and its endless rallies on Centre Court so they went over to Court No. 1 to watch the men's doubles final and reported the score incorrectly from the press officer -- after the two ladies had shook hands!



What a classic story-I love it!

And I second everything Andy T wrote. My only complaint is he left himself off the list.

SW15-there is no doubt I'll be citing you and/or your book in out results section. How do you want to be credited-by name, the title of your book?

SW15sport
Jun 21st, 2011, 12:46 PM
Well said, it's because of all of you guys that in this computer age, that women's tennis (especially pre-Open Era too) is finally getting it's results and vast history documented. I hope through my connections with the Tour that the era from 1968 to 1984 has been solidified now in terms of prize money records, seedings, tiebreakers and all the rest of it.

The story of the German Open is funny, another classic was the umpire during a Virginia Wade match in Rome having a chat with a linesman on another court while a long rally was in progress. Needless to say Ginny wasn't impressed. In addition to each draw sheet included in my book, I have written a report on practically every tournament, interjected with humourous stories where appropriate, to bring those results to life for the casual fan - not everyone is perhaps a draw or statistical fanatic.

Rollo (forgive me what is your first name?), in terms of a credit, I'm happy with a URL to the web-site to be cited. Thanks folks.

chris whiteside
Jun 21st, 2011, 12:58 PM
At the time the results of the 4-women McCall Pro-Group were not taken into consideration when compiling rankings nor included in subsequent h2h analysis.

There is another book supposed to be out this year which will give listings of all the women's draws and seedings in the Grand Slams.

tennisvideos
Jun 21st, 2011, 01:06 PM
Good observation.

Let it be known I am a huge supporter of Marge, and had I been able to choose from a nice selection of pix, she would have been right up there on the cover, due to her superlative record from 1968-73, and even prior to that. But as the last poster correctly touched on, I was limited by the photographs supplied to me by a photographer who covered the WTA Tour from 1976-84. Inside there are additional pix of Barker, Casals, Jaeger, Wade, but I did manage to get my hands on a very feminine action pic of Mrs. Court (wearing her first tennis dress designed by Ted Tinling during the 1972 Dewar Cup). Alas that pic didn't work well with the style of the head shots chosen for the cover. For Durr fans, I reached out to her to try and get an iconic one of her "in backhand crouching pose" to include inside, (just like your avatar pic Craig), but alas she didn't get back to me in time for printing.

My reasoning for picking those five ladies on the cover (in addition to being of good enough quality and similar in style), incase you are wondering, in the interests of "fairness" I decided on the first five women to hold the official WTA computer ranking since its inception in 1975. In marketing feedback also Margaret, despite her superlative record, still oddly lags behind names like Evert, Navratilova, King, Gong and Austin (who has a big profile in Grand Slam markets due to her commentary on host broadcast networks) in popularity, unless we're talking solely in Australian or Ministerial circles ;-)

The gallery section showcases some of the work of the photographer, rather than what is inside the book, which adheres more to the main characters of the era I focussed on. A lot of these pix haven't been seen before, but if you feel it is misleading, I will consider removing them.

thanks for your feedback.

Hi John

Thanks so much for your explanation and it all makes sense. And yes, I think I am probably the biggest Frankie Durr fan alive on the planet, although who knows - I may be wrong!

But it was Frankie who inspired me to start collecting rare classic footage of the oldies from Wimbledon, French, US Opens etc and I think I have spent a fortune to date on classic footage over the years from matches from 1950s onwards. And of course I have modelled much of my game on hers believe it or not and am still competing at A grade level in Sydney and giving hell to the butch S&V male players on the circuit.

So what a same for me that she was late getting back to you with a picture for the book. And that one in my avatar is a great pic of her isn't it. But at least there will be lots of her results in your book as she featured heavily in the late 60s and early 70s.

If you ever come to Sydney get in touch. I am good friends with Pam Whytecross who you would have worked with, and a number of the other older players and would love to catch up for a bite to eat or a drink and a chat about the tour and your book etc.

Craig

Jakarta
Jun 22nd, 2011, 03:51 PM
Hey John, looks like a fascinating book. The early 1980s, when I was growing up and devoured all the tennis magazines available at the time, was truly an interesting one for me. My favorite player, Bettina Bunge, was most successful at that time.
However, noticed an error on the Contents page regarding head to heads for Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong. It states Margaret lost to Evonne in the 1975 Wimbledon final -- not possible and did not happen as Evonne lost to BJK that year in the infamous 1 and 0 drubbing.
Best, Bruce

SW15sport
Jun 22nd, 2011, 09:52 PM
Apologies Bruce, that should of course say SF instead of F, the S somehow didn't appear in the final copy. Any other corrections/typos can be gmailed to me direct at:

firstservepr@gmail.com. With the amount of numbers in that book, while I have tried extensively to eliminate those typos, it is impossible to be free of all and would be grateful for those caught by the keenest eyes on the planet, here.

Craig, thank you for your kind offer, rest assured the next time I'm lucky enough to be back in Sydney I'll take you up on your offer, and yes, Pammy is a legend.

GeeTee
Jun 27th, 2011, 12:35 AM
Congratulations on your book. The WTA should licence the results and update their database.

SW15sport
Jul 24th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Hi Folks, some BACKGROUND INFO which a few of you have been PMing me for:

1. SEEDINGS: These were done primarily by national associations and their seeding committees until Colgate mandated that all tourneys from Oct 1976 onwards on their series had to adhere to the most recent WTA Rankings. The Winter (Slims & Avon) circuits operated independently of this. From 1971-72, seedings were done by the USLTA and tournament promoters (remember the 1972 Dallas farce?) From 1973 onwards, the first four events of the year were seeded according to the previous season's point average total, while generally from the fifth event onwards, seedings were based on the current year's circuit point average. The seedings for the season-ending Colgate/Toyota championships were based on the final points standings. The 1976 US Open was the first major tournament to follow the WTA rankings identically. There were exceptions to this rule, generally applied to former No. 1 players who had been out of the game (either due to injury or maternity leave) and these were given discretionary seedings, such as Court (1976-77), King (1977-79; 1982), Goolagong (1977-78; 1979; 1981-82), Seles (1995), Graf (1998), Davenport (2002) and the Williams sisters in 2004. The WTA stopped this practice in early 2005 based on feedback from the players when Clijsters and Henin were returning.

2. WTA RANKINGS (v 1.0) were notoriously non-transparent and difficult to follow. Devised by programmer Les Jenkins in 1975 (based loosely on his USLTA rankings - since 1972 - and ATP Rankings - since 1973), this system tried in essence to be too clever, factoring in every single piece of info about events and players .
(i) A players ranking (Player Rating Points) was computed by adding together Tournament Point Average (All tournament points were divided by no. of events played, minimum being 12) + Individual Player Match Average (complicated process of considering player's no. of matches won against losses, the ranking of each player defeated and lost to, and the differences between their ranking and yours. In my book I explain the particular example of how Mandlikova didn't manage to rank above No. 5 in 1981 while Jaeger because she consistently lost to Top 10 players, and mainly Top 5 players during her first 18 months on Tour, that was how she managed to sneak in at No. 2 briefly).
(ii) To be ranked, the computer needed a minimum of eight pieces of info (such as six first round losses and two wins over ranked opposition).
(iii) Tournament Points were ever changing, depending on the strength of the field, which made it impossible to work out rankings in advance. Generally, Wimbledon, US Open, Slims events and Eastbourne offered the most points ranging from 10-14. The next values went from 9 to 0.5 for satellite events. Hamburg and the French Open tended to offer approx 6 points, while the Aussie Open only offered about 2 until 1980.
(iv) Rankings were issued sporadically at first (generally every six weeks, sometimes quarterly, sometimes fortnightly) until becoming fortnightly in July 1978 and weekly in March 1990.
(v) In speaking to most former players, they judge the 1984-86 system devised by James Broder to be the fairest and most accurate (unlike today's which places too much emphasis on quantity as opposed to quality. This system considered four pieces of info: Tournament Round values were assigned according to prize money totals, bonus points were given for wins over Top 200 players, points earned between 27-52 weeks on the current ranking were devalued by 50% each time placing more of an emphasis on recent form and results and these three totals were divided by no. of tourneys played (with a minimum divisor of 12).

I hope this helps clarify some of the questions you may have had on these issues ;-)

www.womenstennisguide.co.uk

DennisFitz
Jul 26th, 2011, 07:00 AM
Hi Folks, some BACKGROUND INFO which a few of you have been PMing me for:

1. SEEDINGS: These were done primarily by national associations and their seeding committees until Colgate mandated that all tourneys from Oct 1976 onwards on their series had to adhere to the most recent WTA Rankings. The Winter (Slims & Avon) circuits operated independently of this. From 1971-72, seedings were done by the USLTA and tournament promoters (remember the 1972 Dallas farce?) From 1973 onwards, the first four events of the year were seeded according to the previous season's point average total, while generally from the fifth event onwards, seedings were based on the current year's circuit point average. The seedings for the season-ending Colgate/Toyota championships were based on the final points standings. The 1976 US Open was the first major tournament to follow the WTA rankings identically. There were exceptions to this rule, generally applied to former No. 1 players who had been out of the game (either due to injury or maternity leave) and these were given discretionary seedings, such as Court (1976-77), King (1977-79; 1982), Goolagong (1977-78; 1979; 1981-82), Seles (1995), Graf (1998), Davenport (2002) and the Williams sisters in 2004. The WTA stopped this practice in early 2005 based on feedback from the players when Clijsters and Henin were returning.

2. WTA RANKINGS (v 1.0) were notoriously non-transparent and difficult to follow. Devised by programmer Les Jenkins in 1975 (based loosely on his USLTA rankings - since 1972 - and ATP Rankings - since 1973), this system tried in essence to be too clever, factoring in every single piece of info about events and players .
(i) A players ranking (Player Rating Points) was computed by adding together Tournament Point Average (All tournament points were divided by no. of events played, minimum being 12) + Individual Player Match Average (complicated process of considering player's no. of matches won against losses, the ranking of each player defeated and lost to, and the differences between their ranking and yours. In my book I explain the particular example of how Mandlikova didn't manage to rank above No. 5 in 1981 while Jaeger because she consistently lost to Top 10 players, and mainly Top 5 players during her first 18 months on Tour, that was how she managed to sneak in at No. 2 briefly).
(ii) To be ranked, the computer needed a minimum of eight pieces of info (such as six first round losses and two wins over ranked opposition).
(iii) Tournament Points were ever changing, depending on the strength of the field, which made it impossible to work out rankings in advance. Generally, Wimbledon, US Open, Slims events and Eastbourne offered the most points ranging from 10-14. The next values went from 9 to 0.5 for satellite events. Hamburg and the French Open tended to offer approx 6 points, while the Aussie Open only offered about 2 until 1980.
(iv) Rankings were issued sporadically at first (generally every six weeks, sometimes quarterly, sometimes fortnightly) until becoming fortnightly in July 1978 and weekly in March 1990.
(v) In speaking to most former players, they judge the 1984-86 system devised by James Broder to be the fairest and most accurate (unlike today's which places too much emphasis on quantity as opposed to quality. This system considered four pieces of info: Tournament Round values were assigned according to prize money totals, bonus points were given for wins over Top 200 players, points earned between 27-52 weeks on the current ranking were devalued by 50% each time placing more of an emphasis on recent form and results and these three totals were divided by no. of tourneys played (with a minimum divisor of 12).

I hope this helps clarify some of the questions you may have had on these issues ;-)

www.womenstennisguide.co.uk
John
Thanks, and congratulations again on your book.

And kudos for unraveling most of the mystery surrounding the early workings of the WTA rankings. Dubbed 'Medusa' by Bud Collins! I totally agree that they tried to be too clever.

I hadn't realized the WTA did away with the "injury protection ranking" or whatever they called it. I recall Clijsters being unseeded in her comeback in 2005. But I thought that was because she played in one event in the fall of 2004, so technically she didn't go 6+ months without playing. In any case, it was a dumb move all around, IMHO, because Clijsters was clearly a top player, and should have been seeded. And I believe Henin was seeded #10 when she won the French Open in 2005. Although as she, Serena ('07 Australian) and Clijsters ('09 US Open) have proved, seedings don't really matter sometimes. Although I do think it does give the potential for wildly imbalanced draws. I always felt the ranking protection was a good thing. But in these times, too many of the players and their agents fight for strict democracy. I never believed seedings should follow rankings exactly. Especially for majors, since there are so many X factors involved. And it will be interesting to see if Serena is seeded at this year's US Open. I doubt she'll play enough to earn a seeded spot outright. But I absolutely think she ought to be seeded at the Open.

Didn't realize rankings weren't weekly until 1990. I thought it was earlier than that.

AdeyC
Jul 27th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Looks like a good book to me - late 70's/early 80's was my era.

Are there still copies left?

HanaFanParis
Aug 1st, 2011, 12:36 AM
Hey john, I've just ordered your book today! I can't wait reading all that stuff about my most fascinating era (79/84), as I'm a big fan of Hana Mandlikova... I tried to collect all the season's of "Inside Women's tennis" of this time, but I still haven't found all the complete collection. And apart from results, prize money, etc... I'm in really looking forward to read some reliable informations on attendance figures at WTA tournament's (Avon - Slims- Toyota - Colgate...)... I always had the feeling that in the early-eighties, the Slims - Toyota - Avon tournaments in US were really making a successfull tour compared to nowadays poor attendances in some big tournaments around the planet....

SW15sport
Aug 1st, 2011, 08:14 PM
Hi HanaFan,

It's a good thing I tried where possible to include as many attendance totals and records as possible and they do make interesting comparison's to todays events. There's quite a bit about Hana in the book, some great anecdotes and a nice pic or two.

You are spot on when you talk about some of the outstanding attendance figures, especially during the late 70s and early 80s. It was not unusual for the final weekends of some of the winter indoor events in the States to draw 10,000+ a night in markets like Dallas, Washington DC and Oakland, not forgetting Madison Square Garden. You don't see that nowadays. It really is a shame a lot of those markets don't have those tournaments anymore, which had built up such a loyal fan base.

As the Tour moved away from the Virginia Slims-United States era in the late 80s and womens tennis was taken to other markets, some good (Antwerp for Belgian mania), some not so good (Doha, which was never more than 5,000, compared to three-times as much for MSG, or even 17-18,000 towards the late great example one. I suppose we have Indian Wells and others nowadays, but I wonder how many of the Indian Wells folks would come out just to see Wozniacki, Azarenka and Radwanska, if there was no Fed, Nadal, Djokovic et al...? Did Evert, Navratilova and King put more bums on seats than today's stars? Even though the Williams sisters and Sharapova have star quality, along with Kim too, the first three seem to attract polar opposite fans (lovers or haters) and not the universal respect that Rafa and Fed seem to, like Chris and Martina seemed to in their day.

HanaFanParis
Aug 2nd, 2011, 12:05 AM
Thanx for your answer John! I see we share the same point of view on today's women's tour. BTW for me, combined events are not a progress for the tour.... I have the feeling that we're coming back to pre-68-open area (even iff I was not born at this time! ;-)) and that now, Women's tennis is everywhere...but overshadowed by ATP tour, compared to 70/80 - even 90's tour, when each tour was distinct and WTA had a loyal fan base, as you said, who crowded out most of the North American venues....
Anyway, I'm starving to read your book!

HanaFanParis
Aug 9th, 2011, 06:08 PM
I've received my book yesterday! So much to read... and to discover!!! Beyond raw results, there's plenty of interisting stuff about each tournaments, key matches,tennis politics, attendances.... That's really the true "Inside women's tennis" of this area. I think the book is a true "bible" about this area.
It confirms what I was thinking : End 70's/ early Eighties, North American tour was drawing huge crowds and national TV... The key of success for Women's tennis in these pioneer years of Tennis pro was to cut with ATP, having a successfull independant Tour... with its own identity, venues, stars.... and success.
Maybe people at the WTA today should read this book....
:devil:

GeeTee
Aug 9th, 2011, 11:02 PM
I'm a supporter of the move to recombine WTA/ATP events through the season. It can't (and shouldn't) happen every week, but I think it's great when fans can see both sexes at their city's tournament. It might be interesting to compare Montreal/Toronto data in the recent past since the sexes rotate from one city to another every other year and it could provide a fascinating comparison of fan support for both tours.

The world of the 70s won't be happening again anytime soon. Tennis was a breakout sport back then. Still transitioning from an amateur game to a personality driven pro spectacle. Aided by TV in the US happy to broadcast (relatively cheap and attractive) sports, without the competition for air-time seen today. And, perhaps most importantly, with a bunch of US players dominating the era.

Even if the entire top dozen in the women's game weren't competing back around 1976, a tournament director wouldn't mind having just 50% (maybe 25%!) of these names - Evert, BJK, Casals, Navratilova, Goolagong, Court, Wade, Barker, Morozova, Durr, Fromholtz, Reid - in their draw. And then there are other names like Stove, Gourlay, Jausovec, Ruzici, Tomanova and Turnbull, just behind this level.

That's 18 of the top women around 1976 and ALL of them reached at least a Grand Slam singles final in their careers. And most of them were at the top of the game for at least a decade. And most of them competed very regularly, in comparison with some of today's names.

And, as well as this dozen and a half names, other former Grand Slam stars (eg Bueno, Bowrey, Richey, Masthoff) were still competing on occasion. Imagine a tournament of 32 players with 22 of them at least Grand Slam singles finalists!!

Oh and some were serve/volleyers as well, in addition to the allcourters and the baseliners.

Interesting personalities, keen rivalries, regular tournament appearances, player longevity, US stars, variety of playing styles. Is there anything else I've forgotten that today's WTA tour doesn't have? ;)

tennisvideos
Aug 10th, 2011, 01:45 PM
I'm a supporter of the move to recombine WTA/ATP events through the season. It can't (and shouldn't) happen every week, but I think it's great when fans can see both sexes at their city's tournament. It might be interesting to compare Montreal/Toronto data in the recent past since the sexes rotate from one city to another every other year and it could provide a fascinating comparison of fan support for both tours.

The world of the 70s won't be happening again anytime soon. Tennis was a breakout sport back then. Still transitioning from an amateur game to a personality driven pro spectacle. Aided by TV in the US happy to broadcast (relatively cheap and attractive) sports, without the competition for air-time seen today. And, perhaps most importantly, with a bunch of US players dominating the era.

Even if the entire top dozen in the women's game weren't competing back around 1976, a tournament director wouldn't mind having just 50% (maybe 25%!) of these names - Evert, BJK, Casals, Navratilova, Goolagong, Court, Wade, Barker, Morozova, Durr, Fromholtz, Reid - in their draw. And then there are other names like Stove, Gourlay, Jausovec, Ruzici, Tomanova and Turnbull, just behind this level.

That's 18 of the top women around 1976 and ALL of them reached at least a Grand Slam singles final in their careers. And most of them were at the top of the game for at least a decade. And most of them competed very regularly, in comparison with some of today's names.

And, as well as this dozen and a half names, other former Grand Slam stars (eg Bueno, Bowrey, Richey, Masthoff) were still competing on occasion. Imagine a tournament of 32 players with 22 of them at least Grand Slam singles finalists!!

Oh and some were serve/volleyers as well, in addition to the allcourters and the baseliners.

Interesting personalities, keen rivalries, regular tournament appearances, player longevity, US stars, variety of playing styles. Is there anything else I've forgotten that today's WTA tour doesn't have? ;)

Great post! I always think the 60s and 70s had some incredible depth at the top of the game and I stand by that, just reinforced by your post. Not only depth, but personality, styles and so many intelligent players. :bounce:

SW15sport
Aug 11th, 2011, 08:35 PM
I second that Craig, well said GeeTee! Good numbers backing it up.

Yes there is more depth now which is terrific all round, but what about the strength of personalities? I'm not sure. Just listening to Eurosport now, a commentator made the point about that its a big deal if players have played five-10 times. Whatever happened to those rivalries in the 1970's/early 80s where players had met 30-40 times. The most recent great rivalry in my humble opinion was Hingis and Venus, great contrast in games and personalities. Sadly all too rare in the last 10 years. Have less tournaments for the top players to play, hopefully they'll stay healthy and they'll encounter each other more often.

mick1303
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:02 PM
I wanted to order, but wasn't sure if I should pick an option "The rest of the world" or "Mainland Europe". I live in Ukraine, which is geographically in Europe, but not a part of EU. Did send them e-mail with this question, but no reply so far.

SW15sport
Aug 14th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Hi Mick, according to Royal Mail, Ukraine, like Russia is classed as Europe and same postage as EU countries, so you can select that option. Thanks and hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane ;-)

Andy T
Sep 26th, 2011, 08:11 AM
:bounce:Finally got my hands on my copy this weekend (thx JeanMi18 for baby-sitting it over the summer!) and can't wait to curl up with it.

SW15sport
Dec 1st, 2011, 01:43 PM
Hi folks!

For a limited time only during the Holiday period, I am offering FREE POSTAGE anywhere in the world for my book -- if you are thinking of a Christmas gift for anyone in particular.

I have about 100 copies left and I'd like to free up some storage space at home ;-)

http://www.womenstennisguide.co.uk/order-now.php

Enjoy!

SW15sport
Jun 5th, 2012, 02:22 PM
Hey Tennis Fans and aficionados of the golden era of women's tennis!

I have updated my book and produced an electronic copy that can now be downloaded onto your desktop for ease of reference, also for a fraction of the cost (£11.99). Mailing a 560 page book weighing almost 1kg around the world can be expensive. That being said, I still have a few hard copies left that can be sold at a slightly reduced price (£24.99 inc. P&P) since I have re-couped my costs.

Checkout this link and you can order from here: http://www.womenstennisguide.co.uk/order-now.php

Enjoy!

Rollo
Jun 5th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Thanks John.

With the size of that monster book the binding was tough to hold. It's given me hours of joyous pleasure reliving the golden 70s and 80s and learning new facts:)

elegos7
Jun 7th, 2012, 08:27 PM
I have updated my book and produced an electronic copy that can now be downloaded onto your desktop for ease of reference, also for a fraction of the cost (£11.99). Mailing a 560 page book weighing almost 1kg around the world can be expensive. That being said, I still have a few hard copies left that can be sold at a slightly reduced price (£24.99 inc. P&P) since I have re-couped my costs.


I have taken a look at your website, but when I click on the digital version, it still wants to charge 15 GBP.
So which price is correct: 12 or 15 GBP?

SW15sport
Jun 8th, 2012, 07:45 AM
Apologies for that - Paypal was misbehaving earlier and the correct pricing structure should now be live... £24.99 for hard copy and £11.99 for digital. Digital is the way forward, helping keep postage costs down and the rain forests safe ;-)