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View Full Version : Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s


justineheninfan
Oct 30th, 2011, 07:10 PM
In the wake of the stupidity of Wozniacki ending 2011 ranked #1 over the more deserving Petrva Kvitova, who had a far superior year, it makes me wonder thinking of a few past cases and which year had the biggest ever injustice as far as the year end #1 ranking. I am curious to what some of the posters who have followed the game a long time such as tennisvideos, Rollo, Sam L, and others think. Here are the main candidates I can think of:

2011- Wozniacki over Kvitova.

2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters

2005- Davenport over Clijsters

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had).

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time)


My vote would still go to Wozniacki ending the year #1 over Kvitova this year though.

Rollo
Oct 31st, 2011, 03:41 PM
This year really just takes the cake. In my view the "she [Kvitova] just didn't play enugh argyment holds no water.

Look at the stats:

Kvitova: 58-13 (.816) Won 6 out of 19 events. Titles were Wimbledon, YEC, Madrid, Paris, Brisbane, and Linz.

Aussie QF, French R16 (lost to N, Li eventual champ), Wimbledon won-US Open 1R.

Won titles on all surface and undefeated indoors. 1-0 vs Wozniacki

Wozniacki: 63-17 (1 retirement) (.797) Won 6 of 22 events. Titles were

Indian Wells, Dubai, New Haven, FCC, Brussels, Copenhagen.

Aussie SF, French 3R. Wimbledon-4R, US Open-SF.

0-1 vs Kvitova.

To me there's no comparison. Is Petra a strong #1? No. But she's a clear #1.
Has Caro won the YEC she would have a claim to be #1 even without a slam.
Once again she proved she's not ready for prime time though.

ElusiveChanteuse
Oct 31st, 2011, 03:48 PM
Serena with 3 slams in 2009?:oh:

Rollo
Oct 31st, 2011, 03:54 PM
How I feel about the others (and I added a couple of my own:devil:)


2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters-no contest Clijsters. We're talking 2 majors to 0 if one counts the YEC.

2008-Jankovic as #1. Ger real. It was Serena Williams.

2006-I agree with Henin as #1, but a case can be made for Mauresmo.

2005- Davenport over Clijsters Clijsters was the clear #1 to me.

2004-No way Davenport was #1. One can argue with who would replace her, but either Henin or Sharapova gets my vote.

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus. Again, no major=no way. Venus is #1 in my book, though there's an argument for the capster.

2000-I have Venus as #1 rather than Hingis. At least Hingis won the yEC and a bucket load of other events, so it's arguable.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario. Sanchez was #1 to me by virtue of winning 2 majors.

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had). Steffi is my clear #1. Not her fault Monica didn't return to tour later in the year.

1990-There's a somewhat good for Monica as #1 in this year.

1987-I have Graf as #1, but Martina has a case.

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1981 was the year I think 3 women had credible cases for #1. Evert was the consensus choice, but Austin (by virtue of 2 majors and head to heads with Chris and Martina) and Martina (who played a full schedule, wobn a major, and by today's standards would be clear #1) have cases.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time). I have Evert as #1, but Martina clearly has a case.


1971-Pre-computer era. I have Goolagong as #1 (as did most pundits) but clearly King had a case.

1966-Most had King as #1 for the year, but there are cases for Bueno and Jones as #1.

1964-was it Bueno or Smith?

BlueTrees
Oct 31st, 2011, 04:09 PM
Serena with 3 slams in 2009?:oh:

Serena finished 2009 as #1 so what are you talking about :confused: :wavey:

mick1303
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:12 AM
Serena finished 2009 as #1 so what are you talking about :confused: :wavey:

Serena won two Slams in 2009, not three

BlueTrees
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:26 AM
That's not the point. :confused: She finished the year as #1 so whether she won two or three is irrelevant.

mick1303
Nov 1st, 2011, 08:06 AM
I’m very disappointed with this thread. It’s a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.

Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.

IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.

Looking at the list I can see that some have instinctive criteria, which are not spelled out. These criteria are: only Slam wins matter; all other results (runner-up, semis, etc.) and all other tournaments are irrelevant. At best they are good for determining who is better among Slam winners.

You should understand that tours would never accept this view. It devalues all other tournaments, which form the flesh of the calendar (with Slams being the skeleton). And tours can’t exist only playing Slams – they would go bankrupt.

chris whiteside
Nov 1st, 2011, 01:04 PM
I’m very disappointed with this thread. It’s a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.

Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.

IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.

I don't see any thing wrong with the thread. It is a perfectly legitimate question.

Everyone will have their own idea of rankings so why can't they give their opinion in a rational manner?

chris whiteside
Nov 1st, 2011, 01:28 PM
How I feel about the others (and I added a couple of my own:devil:)

2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters-no contest Clijsters. We're talking 2 majors to 0 if one counts the YEC.

2008-Jankovic as #1. Ger real. It was Serena Williams.

2006-I agree with Henin as #1, but a case can be made for Mauresmo.

2005- Davenport over Clijsters Clijsters was the clear #1 to me.

2004-No way Davenport was #1. One can argue with who would replace her, but either Henin or Sharapova gets my vote.

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus. Again, no major=no way. Venus is #1 in my book, though there's an argument for the capster.

2000-I have Venus as #1 rather than Hingis. At least Hingis won the yEC and a bucket load of other events, so it's arguable.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario. Sanchez was #1 to me by virtue of winning 2 majors.

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had). Steffi is my clear #1. Not her fault Monica didn't return to tour later in the year.

1990-There's a somewhat good for Monica as #1 in this year.

1987-I have Graf as #1, but Martina has a case.

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1981 was the year I think 3 women had credible cases for #1. Evert was the consensus choice, but Austin (by virtue of 2 majors and head to heads with Chris and Martina) and Martina (who played a full schedule, wobn a major, and by today's standards would be clear #1) have cases.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time). I have Evert as #1, but Martina clearly has a case.


1971-Pre-computer era. I have Goolagong as #1 (as did most pundits) but clearly King had a case.

1966-Most had King as #1 for the year, but there are cases for Bueno and Jones as #1.

1964-was it Bueno or Smith?

Since Rollo has added in some pre-computer rankings.

1966 How to win friends and influence people! ;)

Even I wouldn't have Jones as #1. It's unfortunate she was carrying the shoulder injury which hampered her and then curtailed the end of her Season. Had she won the German then she had a claim to the top spot. Billie-Jean's early loss at Forest Hills upset the apple-cart and I went with Bueno. Overall the Blasters Panel went 4-3 King.

1971 Very tight but winning the RG/Wimbledon axis which for me is the second most difficult achievement in the game swung it for Yvonee despite the large number of losses. BJ had quite a large number of losses too but she did have a case.

Strangely, letters to World Tennis which was an American publication suggested that the public thought Margaret Court should have been ranked #1!!

1964 Margaret Court is cited as the world #1 in 1964 in the record books but this is because this was Lance Tingay's ranking. Over world correspondent as a whole there was a slight majority in favour of Maria Bueno. IMO Tingay's reasons for choosing Court were well argued and articulate and I agreed with him. Blasters Panel 4-3 Court.

I would add 1960 I have only seen the two rankings Tingay and Ned Potter of WT. Both went for Bueno probably because she won Wimbledon but Darlen Hard won both RG and Forest Hills beating Bueno in both. Maria also lost to Jan lehane at the Australian. The Blasters Panel actually went 4-3 in favour of Hard although I sided with Bueno albeit by the skin of a fart. For large parts of the year Darlene did not play like a #1.

For 1981 I think it depends on your personal view of the rankings. Do you just consider what a player achieves and ignore the losses or take their full results into account?

For me the fact that you may have won 2 Majors as opposed to one does not in itself tkae the #1 spot. You can also argue whether the YEC is on a par with a Slam. Evert also had a deficit in h2hs with both Austin and Navratilova. However, over the year Evert had by far the best record. Austin's losses at the quarter finals to Shriver at both Wimbledon and the Australian which was a strong event that year were of great importance.

Philbo
Nov 1st, 2011, 02:22 PM
Why isnt 1987 even listed as an option in the poll? Surely it at least deserves a discussion?

justineheninfan
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:16 PM
Why isnt 1987 even listed as an option in the poll? Surely it at least deserves a discussion?

Well personally I never thought 1987 was much of a question. I dont remember many people thinking it was either at the time, but it was a long time ago so I could be wrong. Graf won 12 tournaments (including French Open, Miami, WTA Championships), and her only losses all year were the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals. Yeah Martina won Wimbledon and the U.S Open but she only won 4 tournaments. Graf would have had to go slamless for it to be validly argued it was Martina IMO (or Martina have won a 3rd slam atleast), but as it was Graf won the French Open which pretty much ends it. Otherwise it is taking the slams are everything mantra to a whole new level entirely.

Anyway there isnt enough poll options to include all the years someone wasnt a 110% clear beyond any question to every soul type #1.

Rollo
Nov 1st, 2011, 11:59 PM
For me 1987 was a case of Graf as #1 with Martina having a case to be #1.

In some regards Martina, honest as ever, sort of set up the controversy (if one can call it that) and then settled it herself.

Before the YEC she stated that she felt that she was #1 rather than Steffi, especially if she won the YEC. When Martina lost early (to Sabatini?) she was quick to concede #1 to Steffi for 1987.

Viewed through today's prism some might be puzzled why Martina even thought she was close. Things were different in 1987 though. For one thing the relative equality of slams was not universally acknowledged. The old view that Wimbledon was the King or Queen of events still prevailed in many quarters. A minority even felt the US Open was worth more the French. And while Martina was even close to Steffi in events won or win-loss percentage, she did reacch the final of all 4 slams.

Anyhow the computer and most expert panelists had Graf as #1. At least two experts had Navratilova as #1 for the year though.

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:31 AM
Posted by Mick303
I’m very disappointed with this thread. It’s a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.

I respect your opinion and want to address your concerns here. I don't know what the ESPN message board is like-your post tells me I may not want to know.

If posters here cross a line and are rude and hateful towards each other or players don't hesitate to let me know and I'll address it.

Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.


If this was a General Messages thread I could see your point, but we get alot less heated here.

The other thing to consider is the historical nature of these controversies. They happened and will continue to happen. People have varying opinions. I find the excitement in these close ranking years draws people to the sport.



IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.

I tend to agree here. This is why at least in my case I have my own ranking system:)

Looking at the list I can see that some have instinctive criteria, which are not spelled out. These criteria are: only Slam wins matter

If you get a chance look at some of Chris Whiteside's threads in our ranking projects. There were more thoughtful posts in those threads than "fans" spouting off.

I'll confess I'm a bit of a "slamist". I weight them a lot because the top players themselves do. When John Mcenroe says it's ridiculous that Caro is ranked #1 he is only saying what every slam champion would say if they could be honest.

Biased? Maybe. But it's a bias that has been with the sport since its birth. The idea that anyone could be #1 without a slam (or at least a major event of significance) has been laughable for well over 100 years until Hingis was so ranked in 2000. it has history behind it, and as a history major and a tennis historian of sorts this thought is more logical and timeless than a computer that will change how it ranks players in time.

all other results (runner-up, semis, etc.) and all other tournaments are irrelevant. At best they are good for determining who is better among Slam winners.


All other results? Perhaps, but I find other data makes it way into the argument if the discussion goes on. Graf as #1 in 1987 and 1990 are two examples where the non-slam statistics clearly helped her.


You should understand that tours would never accept this view. It devalues all other tournaments, which form the flesh of the calendar (with Slams being the skeleton). And tours can’t exist only playing Slams – they would go bankrupt.


You're right. The tour can't survive on slams alone. But does inflating points for regular tour events really help the regular tour? This approach has been tried for years now (since 1997) and has proved to be, in my view, an utter failure. The men support the tour, while the likes of Serena and Kimmie ignore it (a charitable view) or give it the middle finger (I'll confess that's less charitable).

Samll but significant ranking changes could improve the WTA immensely IMO.

Anyhow, we are likely to disagree-and that's fine. Because I'm confident we will do so in a civilized manner Mick.

Heck-even Chris is still talking to me after I didn't his favorite Ann Jones #1 for 1966 (and she had 2 majors to 1 for all the other contenders that year:lol:)

Sumarokov-Elston
Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:50 AM
For me 1987 was a case of Graf as #1 with Martina having a case to be #1.

In some regards Martina, honest as ever, sort of set up the controversy (if one can call it that) and then settled it herself.

Before the YEC she stated that she felt that she was #1 rather than Steffi, especially if she won the YEC. When Martina lost early (to Sabatini?) she was quick to concede #1 to Steffi for 1987.

Viewed through today's prism some might be puzzled why Martina even thought she was close. Things were different in 1987 though. For one thing the relative equality of slams was not universally acknowledged. The old view that Wimbledon was the King or Queen of events still prevailed in many quarters. A minority even felt the US Open was worth more the French. And while Martina was even close to Steffi in events won or win-loss percentage, she did reacch the final of all 4 slams.

Anyhow the computer and most expert panelists had Graf as #1. At least two experts had Navratilova as #1 for the year though.

I always thought that 1987 was a good example of why it was a good thing to have the title of "world champion." So you could have Graf as #1 and Martina as world champion, for holding the most prestigious trophies. So the computer number one could be the sort of dull but accurate workhorse statistics, while the world champion was who was more prominent in the big events. In 1978, you could give the computer #1 to Evert, but world champion to Martina (or should that be the other way round after Evert won the US Open?). I would like to give Austin at least something, say #1 in 1980, but in both the two biggies she lost in the semi-finals (albeit in three sets to the eventual winners). Maybe in 1980 you could grudgingly give Austin #1 (as a sort of consolation prize for everything that happened afterwards)? Evert was clearly "world champion", winning all the big tournaments (Italian, French, US Clay Courts, US Open) and only losing to Evonne in the final of Wimbledon (right after she had beaten her on grass at Chichester). She also beat the defending champion and top seed in the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open.

alfajeffster
Nov 2nd, 2011, 09:08 AM
Why isnt 1987 even listed as an option in the poll? Surely it at least deserves a discussion?

I used to think there was no question it was Graf's year, but have since changed my view of that year. What many people forget is that in addition to the USO and Wimbledon titles, Martina was in the final of both the French and Australian Opens, losing to Graf and Mandlikova respectively. Though she didn't have the 12 tournaments that Graf did, I've always given the greatest amount of importance to the majors, and you have to give Navratilova credit for the 2 finals she lost, just like Graf's USO and Wimbledon losses. Had Graf not injured her hand before the Australian, she definitely would've been in the hunt to take that title and there'd be no debate. I think Martina did get it right at the YEC by declaring it Graf's year, but it's a lot closer that meets the eye.

Sam L
Nov 2nd, 2011, 10:56 AM
1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had). Steffi is my clear #1. Not her fault Monica didn't return to tour later in the year.

Yeah but the injustice is in them not freezing the ranking.

GeeTee
Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:00 PM
I dunno.... Did the WTA or ITF freeze anybody's ranking when someone fell pregnant (possibly by accident) or had an injury or sickness or... ??

I know in this case, some psycho did lotsa damage but...

mick1303
Nov 2nd, 2011, 01:22 PM
Rollo, thank you for elaborate response.

Maybe you’re right with regard that on this site such discussion will not lead to utter ugliness.

My previous experience elsewhere is that the issues are sensitive. When the level of discussion is “I’m sure that such and such was better” and the reason for this is some restricted set of matches; it does not sit well with fans of other player (especially when the premise “In my opinion” is omitted). They're starting to bring other restricted set of matches, which seemingly disproves the former view – and this continues ad naseum, because sides did not agree on the clear measure in the first place.

The fact that you are discussing long retired players may seem to help to avoid heated exchanges. But some issues are still burning even after a long time – Graf/Seles situation may raise blood pressure in certain fans very quickly even today.

I hope this will not happen here.

Philbo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 02:29 PM
Well personally I never thought 1987 was much of a question. I dont remember many people thinking it was either at the time, but it was a long time ago so I could be wrong. Graf won 12 tournaments (including French Open, Miami, WTA Championships), and her only losses all year were the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals. Yeah Martina won Wimbledon and the U.S Open but she only won 4 tournaments. Graf would have had to go slamless for it to be validly argued it was Martina IMO (or Martina have won a 3rd slam atleast), but as it was Graf won the French Open which pretty much ends it. Otherwise it is taking the slams are everything mantra to a whole new level entirely.

Anyway there isnt enough poll options to include all the years someone wasnt a 110% clear beyond any question to every soul type #1.

Well I think the subsequnt responses show that its a year thats open to debate and differing POV's, so it should have been included as a poll option :)

For me, I think Rollo makes a good point, back then there was more of an accepted notion that the US and Wimbledon were slightly more prestigious to win than FO or certainly Aus Open... Also, Martina came within 1 service hold of winning the French, US and Wimbledon... In this day and age, the person who wins 2 slam titles and makes all 4 finals would get the nod over someone with 1 slam title and a bunch of lesser titles...

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:16 PM
In this day and age, the person who wins 2 slam titles and makes all 4 finals would get the nod over someone with 1 slam title and a bunch of lesser titles...

By "this day and age" you mean 1987 I'm guessing. In "this day and age" 2011 Steffi would have run away with the computer rankings with the same results.

Oddly enough what worked in Martina favor in 1987 was what held her back (in some eyes) in 1978. Sumarokov-Elston's notion of "World champ" was echoed by Joe McCauley (the Aussie expert) who wrote something along the lines of she [Martina] was #1 until knocked out of the ring.

Of course Steffi did just that in 1988.

However, in 1978 it was Martina as the challenger who was #1 on the computer, but barely-thus not delivering the TKO to Evert. Chris used it to her advantage to start a press campaign to make her case for #1.

Martina quashed all doubts the next year in 1979-finishing #1 in almost every list.

I actually think Martina as #1 in 1981 isn't a big stretch, but while she campaigned for it up to the Toyota Series final she once again conceded the #1 spot to Tracy Austin, whom she lost to in the finals. The Aussie (which Martina won that year) still counted for less in most eyes, while Evert won the most glittering prize at Wimbledon.

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:39 PM
Just wanted to be clear. While I do see a "case" for Martina as #1 in 1987 my vote would clearly go to Steffi.

Breaking it down:

Slams- 2 to 1 for Martina.

But the YEC (easily the 5th most important title) went to Graf.

This is one year IMO where the overwhelming number of "lesser" events just piles up in Graf's favor.

She won 11 of 13 events entered and powered Germany to the Fed Cup.

The girl only lost 2 matches all year. 74-2 (.973)

Boca, the Lipton (the biggie among non-slams), FCC, Amelia, Rome (a Tier 1), Berlin (Tier 1), LA, Hamburg, Zurich.

Those were quality tournaments in 1987-with not one Tier 3 among them.

She utterly demolished both Chris and Martina in winning the Lipton,the 6th biggest event. The Lipton is crucial for me, becasue at year's end it gave Graf a tied head to head vs Navratilova. She had a winning h-h vs everyone else of course.

Martina by contrast did get to all 4 slam finals. And her supporters in 87 felt that the French was the lesser of the "big 3". I disagree though. By 1987 the French was clearly equal to the other slams in size, prize money, and prestiege.

Then of course her overall record is less impressive than Graf's. She won 4 events out of 12. Her 4 wins were Wimbledon, The US Open, Stuttgart, and Chicago (both tier 2's in 1987).

Graf was 97% of her matches. At 56-8 Martina's was 87.5 %. That's a good figure (it beats the hell out of anyone in 2011!) yet is far from 97%.

Had Martina won Australia (or even the French, where she was point away) the advantage really swings to her, but it was what it was.

Anyhow, right or wrong that's my view. Martina herself gave up the ghost on 87 after losing to Gaby in New York.

Now ask me about 1990 or 1994 and it's a different story!

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:45 PM
My previous experience elsewhere is that the issues are sensitive. When the level of discussion is “I’m sure that such and such was better” and the reason for this is some restricted set of matches; it does not sit well with fans of other player (especially when the premise “In my opinion” is omitted). They're starting to bring other restricted set of matches, which seemingly disproves the former view – and this continues ad naseum, because sides did not agree on the clear measure in the first place.

Yep. There's a lot of what I call "my fav"oritism, even here in the Blast.


The fact that you are discussing long retired players may seem to help to avoid heated exchanges. But some issues are still burning even after a long time – Graf/Seles situation may raise blood pressure in certain fans very quickly even today.

I hope this will not happen here.

The lovely debates that swirl around 1993 make some people act like werewolves at midnight during a full moon.

We have a special thread for that issue-so if you see that rear it's ugly head let me know (a private message usually works best) and I will act on it.

Andy T
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:46 PM
Any rankings system will reflect the values prioritised by the person/organisation who creates it and the current WTA system is no exception. Looking back through WTA history, there are years in which the woman who hits the highest peak(s) during the year is not consistent enough to be the year-end number one (e.g. 2001), a woman who is clearly the leading player as the year draws to a close is not the player who had the best record year-long (e.g. 1978) and years when a player who dominated when she played was too often absent to clinch the top spot (2008). I don't think it's possible to have a perfect system which aims both to rank players according to their results over the previous twelve months and to serve as an accurate prediction of performance in the next tournament on the schedule. Form is not constant over a twelve month period and performance isn't constant over the various surfaces either.

What's interesting is that it seems there's just as much debate as to who should be number one in the pre- and post- WTA rankings eras. King in 71, like Evert in 78 was THE form player at the end of the season but the WTA computer said Martina was #1 in 78 and most experts plumped for Goolagong in 71. Likewise, Martina ended 87 with the big trophies but Graf clearly merited her top spot on the computer in a situation which echoed the events of 64 with Bueno and Court.

The experiment in the rankings that I hated the most was the diminishing returns system. This was the nearest the WTA got to ranking by current form but meant, given the seasonal swtches between surfaces, that by the time the clay/grass court season came around, a player's performances on that surface counted for much less in the rankings than, in my opinion, they should. Part of the impetus behind the above system was to address the high rankings of players who had been inactive for a long time (Austin) but in that case "year-end rankings", when they are weighted to favour the last six months, are misleading.

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:55 PM
It's always great to have you with us Andy:)

As you note-there is no perect ranking system. Clear, cut, and dry would be boring anyway.

Great comparison between 1987 and 1964 with Bueno and Court.

The experiment in the rankings that I hated the most was the diminishing returns system.

I vaguely recall this. When was this instituted? Since you mention Austin I'm guessing it was after 1983-when the averaging system ranked Tracy ridiculously high (something like #4)

Philbo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 04:50 PM
Just wanted to be clear. While I do see a "case" for Martina as #1 in 1987 my vote would clearly go to Steffi.

Breaking it down:

Slams- 2 to 1 for Martina.

But the YEC (easily the 5th most important title) went to Graf.

This is one year IMO where the overwhelming number of "lesser" events just piles up in Graf's favor.

She won 11 of 13 events entered and powered Germany to the Fed Cup.

The girl only lost 2 matches all year. 74-2 (.973)

Boca, the Lipton (the biggie among no-slams), FCC, Amelia, Rome (a Tier 1), Berlin (Tier 1), LA, Hamburg, Zurich.

Those were quality tournaments in 1987-with not one Tier 3 among them.

She utterly demolished both Chris and Martina in winning the Lipton,the 6th biggest event. The Lipton is crucial for me, becasue at year's end it gave Graf a tied head to head vs Navratilova. She had a winning h-h vs everyone else of course.

Martina by contrast did get to all 4 slam finals. And her supporters in 87 felt that the French was the lesser of the "big 3". I disagree though. By 1987 the French was clearly equal to the other slams in size, prize money, and prestiege.

Then of course her overall record is less impressive than Graf's. She won 4 events out of 12. Her 4 wins were Wimbledon, The US Open, Stuttgart, and Chicago (both tier 2's in 1987).

Graf was 97% of her matches. At 56-8 Martina's was 87.5 %. That's a good figure (it beats the hell out of anyone in 2011!) yet is far from 97%.

Had Martina won Australia (or even the French, where she was point away) the advantage really swings to her, but it was what it was.

Anyhow, right or wrong that's my view. Martina herself gave up the ghost on 87 after losing to Gaby in New York.

Now ask me about 1990 or 1994 and it's a different story!

Hard to argue with that Rollo...

Now please give me your take on 1990 - Steffi or Monica and WHY!!! Please!

Andy T
Nov 2nd, 2011, 05:49 PM
Hard to argue with that Rollo...

I'm sure that if Martina had been given a choice between her year or Steffi's for 87, a #1 ranking or an additional slam, she'd have taken her own year without a second thought, and understandably so: it's the raw victories which matter, not the computer-crunched and processed results. ;)

Ditto for Arantxa over Steffi's 94, Venus over Davenport's year in 2001, Serena over Jankovic's year in 2008 and, pre-rankings, Goolagong's year in 71 over King's.

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:01 PM
I'm sure that if Martina had been given a choice between her year or Steffi's for 87, a #1 ranking or an additional slam, she'd have taken her own year without a second thought, and understandably so: it's the raw victories which matter, not the computer-crunched and processed results. ;)

Ditto for Arantxa over Steffi's 94, Venus over Davenport's year in 2001, Serena over Jankovic's year in 2008 and, pre-rankings, Goolagong's year in 71 over King's.

To borrow from Philbo-it's hard to argue with that Andy T....

Wimbledon in particular-as it tied the all-time record with Helen Wills at 8 until Martina got her 9th in 1990.

Rollo
Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:24 PM
Now please give me your take on 1990 - Steffi or Monica and WHY!!! Please!


In a word-Monica.

Graf was the computer #1-and would be today too. She was incredibly consistent in 1990, really the only one of the top 4 to be competitive at every slam. Seles poor US open,a shocker-she lost to a serve and volley Italian of all things! Graf was a model of consistency at 72-5 (.935) and won 10 of 15 events.

Better than Seles, who was 54-6 (.900) and won 9 of 15 events.

On the surface it looks a lot like 1987.

However....

For one thing all 4 slams were split, which IMO makes the 5th event (the YEC) vital. And that was won by Monica.

And while Graf was more consistent and won more events-she was only marginally better in both departments. Monica still had a 90 % win rate and was only 1 event win behind (whereas in 1987 it was a 6 event difference).

Two other keys swing to Monica. She won very important non-slams events at Miami, Berlin, and Rome.

The second key is the head to head matches. Monica had winning head to heads vs Graf (2-0), Navratilova (my #3) and Sabatini (my #4).

In contrast Steffi had a losing record to Monica and tied Gaby.

For those reasons one of my ranking models has Seles as #1 for 1990.

And 1994 it's Sanchez as #1. 2 slams to 1 and a 3-3 head to head IMO outweighs Graf's greater consistency.

justineheninfan
Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM
I always thought Steffi was clearly #1 in both 1987 and 1990 but that Sanchez Vicario deserved 1994. To me a slam final is about on par with the WTA Championships or Miami. So by that logic Grafs two slam finals already negate Monicas WTA Championship and Miami titles, and then the remaining results tilts it clearly in favor of Steffi.

As for 1987 it would be like saying 1 extra slam overcomes WTA Championships + Miami + 7 additional (not counting Miami and WTA Championships) non slam tournaments + losing only 2 matches all year vs losing 70% of the tournaments you play. That is taking the slams are all that matter mantra to whole new heights that I have never heard it brought to before. It would be one thing if it Navratilova had won 2 slams to 0 for Graf, or 3 to 1 for Graf, or Navratilova had a bit better showing than winning 4 of 12 tournaments, or Graf a bit worse than losing only 2 matches all year. However as it is if one even seriously argues Navratilova as #1 for 1987 we might as well just get rid of the whole WTA tour outside the slams entirely like it doesnt exist since this is the most extreme non slam difference in the case of the top 2 where the other was the one who won an extra slam that you will ever see. If Navratilova deserved #1 in 1987, then the person who won more slams must ALWAYS 100% of the time deserve #1 (if someone has that logic it is fine I guess, but it would be simply impossible to even run a tour that way).

Frankly I am surprised there is even any debate about either year.

On the other hand looking at the results I have no idea how Sanchez ended 1994 below Graf. Sanchez Vicario clearly should have been #1 in 1994 (well in a way it feels strange to say that as I can imagine Sanchez ever getting to the point without the Seles stabbing but it was what it was).

On another note and in response to Philbo I only include the years where my sense was half or more people disageed with the final rankings (which I dont believe is the case with Graf being #1 in 1987 even if some debate it). Since there is nowhere near enough poll options for all the years that arent 100% accepted by all. In fact the only years since the year end computer rankings began that everyone accepted without question probably were:

1975- Evert year end #1
1976- Evert year end #1
1977- Evert year end #1
1979- Navratilova year end #1
1982- Navratilova year end #1
1983- Navratilova year end #1
1984- Navratilova year end #1
1985- Navratilova year end #1
1986- Navratilova year end #1
1988- Graf year end #1
1989- Graf year end #1
1991- Seles year end #1
1992- Seles year end #1
1993- Graf year end #1 (well other than those like me who feel Seles ranking should have been frozen for a 12 month window but that is another topic).
1995- Graf year end #1
1996- Graf year end #1
1997- Hingis year end #1
2002- Serena year end #1
2007- Henin year end #1
2009- Serena year end #1

Those that have all been questioned would include:

1978- Navratilova year end #1
1980- Evert year end #1
1981- Evert year end #1
1987- Graf year end #1
1990- Graf year end #1
1994- Graf year end #1
1998- Davenport year end #1
1999- Hingis year end #1
2000- Hingis year end #1
2001- Davenport year end #1
2003- Henin year end #1 (only due to Serenas injury which cant really apply to the rankings in any concrete way, so is stupid on the part of those who question the ranking here but anyway)
2004- Davenport year end #1
2005- Davenport year end #1
2006- Henin year end #1
2008- Jankovic year end #1
2010- Wozniacki year end #1
2011- Wozniacki year end #1

So as one can see I could never have included all the debated ones on a poll. Only the ones it seems a majority disagree with. The ones of that list I included are the ones it seems atleast half of people disagree with, even ones I have no idea why really (eg- Evert in 1980 and 1981, both years I thought was clearly Evert but have heard lots of complaints about them from others).

DennisFitz
Nov 3rd, 2011, 08:30 AM
Any rankings system will reflect the values prioritised by the person/organisation who creates it and the current WTA system is no exception. Looking back through WTA history, there are years in which the woman who hits the highest peak(s) during the year is not consistent enough to be the year-end number one (e.g. 2001), a woman who is clearly the leading player as the year draws to a close is not the player who had the best record year-long (e.g. 1978) and years when a player who dominated when she played was too often absent to clinch the top spot (2008). I don't think it's possible to have a perfect system which aims both to rank players according to their results over the previous twelve months and to serve as an accurate prediction of performance in the next tournament on the schedule. Form is not constant over a twelve month period and performance isn't constant over the various surfaces either.

What's interesting is that it seems there's just as much debate as to who should be number one in the pre- and post- WTA rankings eras. King in 71, like Evert in 78 was THE form player at the end of the season but the WTA computer said Martina was #1 in 78 and most experts plumped for Goolagong in 71. Likewise, Martina ended 87 with the big trophies but Graf clearly merited her top spot on the computer in a situation which echoed the events of 64 with Bueno and Court.

The experiment in the rankings that I hated the most was the diminishing returns system. This was the nearest the WTA got to ranking by current form but meant, given the seasonal swtches between surfaces, that by the time the clay/grass court season came around, a player's performances on that surface counted for much less in the rankings than, in my opinion, they should. Part of the impetus behind the above system was to address the high rankings of players who had been inactive for a long time (Austin) but in that case "year-end rankings", when they are weighted to favour the last six months, are misleading.

Oh my. Lots of interesting perspectives in this thread.

Agree that a ranking system does take on the values of the organization at the time the system is devised.

One thing that has happened throughout tennis is that the priorities or the benchmarks for rankings have evolved. True that Wimbledon and the US Open have always remained very high - some would say they've remained at the highest level - in the pecking order. But overall consistency can rate higher on someone's criteria or system, while dominance is more important in other years or system's. Same with H2H.

I will say this. I always felt that the average ranking system employed by the WTA, starting in 1984, and including the period when they had the diminished return (or points devalued by 50% after 6 months) and also included bonus points based on player rankings at the time was the best and fairest system ever used. Its always a challenge to accurately and fairly rank players over a year long period. Or in tennis' case, over a rolling 52 week cycle. Player fortunes are up and then they are down. Injuries occur. There's burnout. There are surface factors. Momentum. Big tournaments. Small tournaments. And pressure.

I advocate for an average ranking system because I feel that with everyone playing by the same rules, i.e., - all results count and tournament points earned are divided by # of events played. There's no mystery about that system. No "best of" with fans and I bet player's themselves wondering what events do, and don't count. It's still the biggest sham that tournament results in today's system - for men and women - don't count. Completely bogus, IMHO. I mean would today's players EVER talk about or discuss an early round loss as not mattering, because it won't count as part of their computer ranking?! No other sport allows official results to no count.

Andy discussed his issues with the diminishing return system. I always felt this was more of an issue with the men, as they tended to have more surface players than the women. Still, when the spring clay court season and French Open rolled around, a player who excelled on grass would have results on the computer that were equal in weight, even though they were achieved 11 months prior. So going into the clay court season, a player who excelled on the grass the previous June and July, and in the December Australian circuit would have their rankings, in my opinion, artificially inflated, compared to a player who excelled in the recent clay events. (On a separate note, I still strongly advocate that the major events deviate more often from computer rankings for seedings, but that's another thread). I also felt that form can change over the course of 6-8 months. Good results in February don't necessarily mean you are the same player 6 months later. Look at Li Na this year. After the Australian, she completely tanked. Until the French.

No system is perfect. Despite the wretched parity, or paucity of dominant players in the WTA today, the ranking system is under fire. And for good reason. Tennis has been spoiled in that there has always been a pillar, a top dog, a #1 player the public, media, and even other players acknowledge and understand. And in good years, there's a never ending battle to confirm who is that # 1 player. Even if it's more in the minds of fans as to who is the true #1. Sadly, as soon as Serena injured her foot in July 2010, the women no longer had that dominant player. And Caroline Wozniacki was thrust into a position she was not ready for, nor deserving of.

DennisFitz
Nov 3rd, 2011, 08:43 AM
In the wake of the stupidity of Wozniacki ending 2011 ranked #1 over the more deserving Petrva Kvitova, who had a far superior year, it makes me wonder thinking of a few past cases and which year had the biggest ever injustice as far as the year end #1 ranking. I am curious to what some of the posters who have followed the game a long time such as tennisvideos, Rollo, Sam L, and others think.
.
.
.

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

Had to chuckle at this one. Are there folks, seriously, who think Austin deserved to be #1 for 1980 or 1981? Maybe, sorta, kinda, if you were a die-hard Austin fan, could you make the argument that Austin was #1 in 1981. But not for real. Reminds me of the way politicians go around campaigning today. I always felt that if as a tennis player you had to "campaign" to be considered #1, you really weren't the best or #1 player.


1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had).

This makes my blood boil. But then again, the inclusion of 1993 on this list doesn't surprise me. All I'll say is that it is the only instance where the words "should have" were used. Oh, so not surprising, since they are the words Selestials will forever hold onto, and quote and use when discussing this issue. And absolutely shameless. Whereas the other instances of who deserved the #1 ranking for the year were all based on real actual results. Not what "woulda, coulda, shoulda, mighta" happened.

justineheninfan
Nov 3rd, 2011, 09:00 AM
I am not a Selestial and I am not one of those who believes Seles would have ended up with a better overall career than Graf without the stabbing. However I feel freezing the #1 ranking for 12 months (or until Monica returned, whichever came first) would have been the proper thing for the WTA and its leading players to do in this case.

Sam L
Nov 3rd, 2011, 09:40 AM
This makes my blood boil. But then again, the inclusion of 1993 on this list doesn't surprise me. All I'll say is that it is the only instance where the words "should have" were used. Oh, so not surprising, since they are the words Selestials will forever hold onto, and quote and use when discussing this issue. And absolutely shameless. Whereas the other instances of who deserved the #1 ranking for the year were all based on real actual results. Not what "woulda, coulda, shoulda, mighta" happened.

The original post said quite clearly that this was a topic about rankings injustices and made it clear that the issue was about her ranking being not frozen. Nowhere did it imply that Seles would've, could've or should've had a better year results-wise than Graf.

Not their problem that you can't read or understand simple English.

alfajeffster
Nov 3rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
I am not a Selestial and I am not one of those who believes Seles would have ended up with a better overall career than Graf without the stabbing. However I feel freezing the #1 ranking for 12 months (or until Monica returned, whichever came first) would have been the proper thing for the WTA and its leading players to do in this case.

This may sound callous to some, but I don't believe a ranking should be frozen for any reason. Those are the breaks. Suppose Nancy Kerrigan's top tier status was put on ice (pun intended) for a while because someone decided to whack her in the leg. What's to guarantee a player ever does come back after injury of whatever nature. It may sound cruel, but I can't recall anyone ever telling me that life was fair and if you find yourself in a bad situation, either physically or whatever, some organization or job will freeze my status indefinitely because they feel sorry for me.

Sam L
Nov 3rd, 2011, 12:53 PM
This may sound callous to some, but I don't believe a ranking should be frozen for any reason. Those are the breaks. Suppose Nancy Kerrigan's top tier status was put on ice (pun intended) for a while because someone decided to whack her in the leg. What's to guarantee a player ever does come back after injury of whatever nature. It may sound cruel, but I can't recall anyone ever telling me that life was fair and if you find yourself in a bad situation, either physically or whatever, some organization or job will freeze my status indefinitely because they feel sorry for me.
You can have sick leave, compassionate leave, maternity leave in the workplace.

This was something that happened in a WTA event. The WTA failed to provide good enough security for their No. 1 player. That's quite distinct from what happened to Kerrigan.

Also, if the ranking was frozen for 12 months and she didn't come back, yes she should drop off obviously. But that was never even considered.

Of course, everyone can say life isn't fair and shit happens etc... but anyone who is comfortable with the best tennis player being out of the game for so long and still be content to watch the game isn't really a fan of the sport, no? Every attempt should've been made to bring her back, not just for her sake but for the sport's fans. That's how the WTA failed in a way that no other sport has failed.

Philbo
Nov 3rd, 2011, 01:12 PM
This may sound callous to some, but I don't believe a ranking should be frozen for any reason. Those are the breaks. Suppose Nancy Kerrigan's top tier status was put on ice (pun intended) for a while because someone decided to whack her in the leg. What's to guarantee a player ever does come back after injury of whatever nature. It may sound cruel, but I can't recall anyone ever telling me that life was fair and if you find yourself in a bad situation, either physically or whatever, some organization or job will freeze my status indefinitely because they feel sorry for me.
Yes it does sound cruel and callous. I dont think getting stabbed on a tennis court by a fan of your rival should go down as 'meh, shit happens'. Noone has mentioned freezing the ranking 'indefinitely'. The idea was for a set period of time. The WTA now has injury protected rankings so you can see they felt Seles was wronged in her treatment.
You can have sick leave, compassionate leave, maternity leave in the workplace.

This was something that happened in a WTA event. The WTA failed to provide good enough security for their No. 1 player. That's quite distinct from what happened to Kerrigan.

Also, if the ranking was frozen for 12 months and she didn't come back, yes she should drop off obviously. But that was never even considered.

Of course, everyone can say life isn't fair and shit happens etc... but anyone who is comfortable with the best tennis player being out of the game for so long and still be content to watch the game isn't really a fan of the sport, no? Every attempt should've been made to bring her back, not just for her sake but for the sport's fans. That's how the WTA failed in a way that no other sport has failed.
Cosign.

Rollo
Nov 3rd, 2011, 02:35 PM
Posted by Sam The original post said quite clearly that this was a topic about rankings injustices and made it clear that the issue was about her ranking being not frozen. Nowhere did it imply that Seles would've, could've or should've had a better year results-wise than Graf.


Yes, but the thread title is "wrongful computer year end #1". The injustice around this issue has its own thread. (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=382429)

I looked at this in the New York Times. When Monica asked for ranking protection it was not for an extended period past the US Open. At that point she (and the rest of the tour) expected her back within weeks.

Posted by Mick Maybe you’re right with regard that on this site such discussion will not lead to utter ugliness.

My previous experience elsewhere is that the issues are sensitive. When the level of discussion is “I’m sure that such and such was better” and the reason for this is some restricted set of matches; it does not sit well with fans of other player (especially when the premise “In my opinion” is omitted). They're starting to bring other restricted set of matches, which seemingly disproves the former view – and this continues ad naseum, because sides did not agree on the clear measure in the first place.

The fact that you are discussing long retired players may seem to help to avoid heated exchanges. But some issues are still burning even after a long time – Graf/Seles situation may raise blood pressure in certain fans very quickly even today.

I hope this will not happen here.

And it will not. We are better than this.

We are NOT going down the road this thread is heading folks. The place for this argument is here:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=382429

Use it-anyone who ignores this post will not find me in a good mood.

Rollo
Nov 3rd, 2011, 02:53 PM
Posted by Dennis Had to chuckle at this one. Are there folks, seriously, who think Austin deserved to be #1 for 1980 or 1981? Maybe, sorta, kinda, if you were a die-hard Austin fan, could you make the argument that Austin was #1 in 1981. But not for real. Reminds me of the way politicians go around campaigning today. I always felt that if as a tennis player you had to "campaign" to be considered #1, you really weren't the best or #1 player.


1980? No-only in Tracy's head.

1981-most certainly. Austin herself of course:lol:. Martina Navratilova also said she was #1 though. I believe Lance Tingay and a couple of other experts also rated her #1.

So while Evert did have the majority of experts and the computer on her side it was not unanimous. Under today's rankings Navratilova would have been #1 for 1981. At the time the two biggest events were Wimbledon and the US Open. Austin's victory in the Toyota event broke the "tie" in her favor in the minds of a few-even those not named Austin.

justineheninfan
Nov 3rd, 2011, 06:05 PM
It is worth noting the WTA awarded Austin Player of the Year in 1980. For them to do that over the #1 ranked player they must have felt strongly. Not saying they are right, but still worth noting.

Andy T
Nov 3rd, 2011, 07:42 PM
I will say this. I always felt that the average ranking system employed by the WTA, starting in 1984, and including the period when they had the diminished return (or points devalued by 50% after 6 months) and also included bonus points based on player rankings at the time was the best and fairest system ever used. Its always a challenge to accurately and fairly rank players over a year long period. Or in tennis' case, over a rolling 52 week cycle. Player fortunes are up and then they are down. Injuries occur. There's burnout. There are surface factors. Momentum. Big tournaments. Small tournaments. And pressure.

I advocate for an average ranking system because I feel that with everyone playing by the same rules, i.e., - all results count and tournament points earned are divided by # of events played. There's no mystery about that system. No "best of" with fans and I bet player's themselves wondering what events do, and don't count. It's still the biggest sham that tournament results in today's system - for men and women - don't count. Completely bogus, IMHO. I mean would today's players EVER talk about or discuss an early round loss as not mattering, because it won't count as part of their computer ranking?! No other sport allows official results to no count.

Andy discussed his issues with the diminishing return system. I always felt this was more of an issue with the men, as they tended to have more surface players than the women. Still, when the spring clay court season and French Open rolled around, a player who excelled on grass would have results on the computer that were equal in weight, even though they were achieved 11 months prior. So going into the clay court season, a player who excelled on the grass the previous June and July, and in the December Australian circuit would have their rankings, in my opinion, artificially inflated, compared to a player who excelled in the recent clay events. (On a separate note, I still strongly advocate that the major events deviate more often from computer rankings for seedings, but that's another thread). I also felt that form can change over the course of 6-8 months. Good results in February don't necessarily mean you are the same player 6 months later. Look at Li Na this year. After the Australian, she completely tanked. Until the French.

No system is perfect. Despite the wretched parity, or paucity of dominant players in the WTA today, the ranking system is under fire. And for good reason. Tennis has been spoiled in that there has always been a pillar, a top dog, a #1 player the public, media, and even other players acknowledge and understand. And in good years, there's a never ending battle to confirm who is that # 1 player. Even if it's more in the minds of fans as to who is the true #1. Sadly, as soon as Serena injured her foot in July 2010, the women no longer had that dominant player. And Caroline Wozniacki was thrust into a position she was not ready for, nor deserving of.

We agree on quite a lot DennisFitz. I'm with you on all tournaments counting, and an average system, and bonus points according to the rank of the defeated opponent - and your last paragraph!

I don't follow your point regarding the diminishing returns system though (but I'm tired and feeling dense today, so...). Let's take as our scenario early April back in the mid-80s and the start of the clay court season with the green clay season in Florida. The last six months stretching back to the beginning of October in the previous year have consisted of indoor events or hard court outdoor events, along with the grass-court swing in Australia. All the clay court results of the previous year are weighted next to nothing (though still more or less equal with the grass court events of the previous year). For grass, in early June, it's the same story: all the Aussie results and the previous year's UK grass court events happened more than six months before.

Then you get to the end of December and the flagship rankings for the end of the year. Player X wins 5 events before June and player Y wins five events afterwards. If we're ranking recent form, it's fine, I suppose (though the point about surface considerations still stands) but if these rankings are touted as some kind of evaluation of the entire previous year, they're obviously warped.

It is fair to say that the women's game was probably less affected than the men's would have been and it's also true that at least with clay, the French arrived at the end of quite a long build-up season, so the newer clay results were taken into account at least by the time the seedings for the "big one" were established. However, that was not possible for grass due to the short build-up toWimbledon, though they did have a margin to rearrange the seedings at their discretion (à la 85, with the #1 co-seeds). For the direct-entry cut-offs, which were established some time before, the situation was worse still.

Sumarokov-Elston
Nov 3rd, 2011, 10:07 PM
In the discussions over 1981, there is always one player who is criminally overlooked. That is Hana Mandlikova. The winner of the last grand slam of 1980, she won the first slam of 1981 (French Open, where she dethroned the champion and number one seed) and then made her #2 seeding at Wimbledon, losing in the final to Evert. But then she was drawn against Evert in the QUARTER-FINALS (!) of the US Open. So you had the two Wimbledon finalists meeting in the quarterfinals of the next grand slam! The same thing happened in the Canadian Open. And then they all went to Australia for the last slam of 1981 and, well, why ask who Hana was drawn against in the quarterfinals? Yes, it was No. 1 seed Chris Evert! Even with her record of one slam win and another slam final, Hana is theoretically as good as Martina, Chris and Tracy for 1981 (if we are looking at slams, of course, and not on consistency, which was never Hana's strong point to put it mildly).

alfajeffster
Nov 3rd, 2011, 10:10 PM
Yes it does sound cruel and callous. I dont think getting stabbed on a tennis court by a fan of your rival should go down as 'meh, shit happens'. Noone has mentioned freezing the ranking 'indefinitely'. The idea was for a set period of time. The WTA now has injury protected rankings so you can see they felt Seles was wronged in her treatment.

Cosign.

Sorry- my fault for giving in to that old temptation. Rollo is right- and I regret allowing myself to go there as it does have its own thread, and really nothing to do with the intended topic of discussion here. I'll just borrow a line or two from Karen on Will & Grace (to Jack): "they just hired a new sales girl at Macy's with a gray tooth. Let's go see if we can get her fired."

Rollo
Nov 4th, 2011, 01:00 AM
Posted by Sumarokov-Elston Hana is theoretically as good as Martina, Chris and Tracy for 1981 (if we are looking at slams, of course, and not on consistency, which was never Hana's strong point to put it mildly).

:lol:

Posted by Alfajeffster I'll just borrow a line or two from Karen on Will & Grace (to Jack): "they just hired a new sales girl at Macy's with a gray tooth. Let's go see if we can get her fired."

Karen was the best part of that show. What a trip!


Posted by Andy T We agree on quite a lot DennisFitz. I'm with you on all tournaments counting, and an average system, and bonus points according to the rank of the defeated opponent - and your last paragraph!



Overall the averaging system worked out best IMO. This was especially true for the top end part of the scale. One disadvantage though was it punished top tenners who played in lesser events. 80s ladies like Maleeva and Ruzici could win lower tier events and yet move down in the rankings. The worst example was Hana Mandlikova in 1981 when she was ranked below Andrea Jaeger-and this in spite of winning or making the final of the last 4 slams. (See Sumarokov-Elstons post above).

I recall they "corrected" this by giving Martina and Chris freebie points to play in lesser events, because otherwise it hurt their rankings to even play some events!

The remedy to this might be to divide points by the points an event is worth rather than number of events played.

justineheninfan
Nov 4th, 2011, 02:01 AM
In the discussions over 1981, there is always one player who is criminally overlooked. That is Hana Mandlikova. The winner of the last grand slam of 1980, she won the first slam of 1981 (French Open, where she dethroned the champion and number one seed) and then made her #2 seeding at Wimbledon, losing in the final to Evert. But then she was drawn against Evert in the QUARTER-FINALS (!) of the US Open. So you had the two Wimbledon finalists meeting in the quarterfinals of the next grand slam! The same thing happened in the Canadian Open. And then they all went to Australia for the last slam of 1981 and, well, why ask who Hana was drawn against in the quarterfinals? Yes, it was No. 1 seed Chris Evert! Even with her record of one slam win and another slam final, Hana is theoretically as good as Martina, Chris and Tracy for 1981 (if we are looking at slams, of course, and not on consistency, which was never Hana's strong point to put it mildly).

She lost in 3 straight slams to Chris so how can she be as good as Chris even just looking at the slams. Not to mention Chris made the semis or better in all 4. Yeah Hana lost to Chris in the quarters twice but one of those Chris herself went on to lose in the semis (to the finals loser), and the other Chris also went on to lose in the final, so I dont see that as being that meaningful; all in all those would be appear to be the accurate results for both at those two events. I guess it could be argued she is almost equal to Martina and better than Tracy just looking at the slams.

Chris overall trumped her in everyway though, slams and otherwise, so that already eliminates her from the discussion.

Rollo
Nov 4th, 2011, 03:13 AM
Chris overall trumped her in everyway though, slams and otherwise, so that already eliminates her from the discussion

All true, but the one slam defeat Hana inflicted on Chris that year must have stung. It stopped Chris from winning her 5th straight French.

That's one match I would pay to have on DVD!

Sumarokov-Elston
Nov 4th, 2011, 08:20 AM
All true, but the one slam defeat Hana inflicted on Chris that year must have stung. It stopped Chris from winning her 5th straight French.

That's one match I would pay to have on DVD!

Yup, that's our Hana - a serve-and-volleyer, she loses to Chris in the two grass-court slams, but beats the Queen of Clay at Roland Garros! It should also be noted that, in doing so, she ended Chris's second-longest claycourt winning streak in modern history. Chris had not lost on the surface since the Italian Open in 1979, which had ended her last streak. Had the rankings been different (Andrea Jaegar seeded #2 at the US Open?!?), it could well have ended much differently for Hana. The start of 1981 seemed to be all Hana, then it was all Chris, then it was all Tracy (Canada, US) and the Martina began to emerge well at the end... So I suppose in a year like that, you sort of have to look at overall consistency from start to finish, and that, of course, would be Chris Evert (who I think was seeded #1 in all three slams everyone entered that year?).

BCP
Nov 4th, 2011, 05:35 PM
Rollo, I hope you don't mind, but I have plagurised your stats from the 1981 thread.

Evert
69-5. (.918)
Won 8 of 13 events.
Never lost before the semis. All 3 semi losses came in majors. Won events on all surfaces.
Majors:DNP Avon, SF-Paris.W-Wimbledon. SF-US,RU-Aussie, SF-Masters.
7-6 vs. other "Big 3" but behind vs. Martina and Tracy.

Navratilova
86-12. (.875)
Won 9 of 21 events.
Had one bad loss(Kohde at Oakland). Every other result was a semi or better except the French. Won on 3 surfaces (not clay).
Majors:Won Avon, QF-Paris,SF-Wimbledon, RU-US, W-Aussie,RU-Masters
5-7 vs. "Big 4".

Austin
51-6 (.910)
Won 7 of 12 events.
Had 4 defeats in QF. Twice to Shriver on grass and ar Brighton to Barker and Collins in Berlin. Won all 3 surfaces(not on clay).
Majors:DNP Avon and Paris. Qf-wimbledon, W-US, QF-Aussie, W-Masters.
6-2 vs. Evert and Navratilova.

Mandlikova
54-17 (.761)
Won 3 of 19 events.
Won on 3 surfaces(not grass).
Had 1 default and 1 retirement. 3 "bad" lossed before qf-many qfs.
Majors:qf-Avon, W-Paris, RU-Wimbledon, QF at US
Aussie and Masters.
2-5 vs. other big 3.

Head to Head(leader first)
Austin-Evert 2-1
Austin-Navratilova 4-1.
Evert-Mandlikova 4-1
Navratilova-Evert 3-2
Navratilova-Hana 1-1
Austin did not play Hana.
Records vs. "Big 4"
Austin was 6-2
Evert was 7-6
Martina was 5-7
Hana was 2-5.

Based on this, Hana lags well behind the top 3 for 1981, though it is great that she is in the mix. I think Austin has a pretty strong case for no.1 even though she only played 12 tournaments, but I agree that her two losses to Shriver take their toll.

hingis-seles
Nov 4th, 2011, 11:14 PM
Interesting thread!

For 1990, I still can't decide. Very strong cases for both Steffi and Monica. It was the year Steffi began her departure from #1 and Monica began her acsent to #1.

For 1993, Steffi is clearly #1 and I don't see any reason for argument or discussion. There's just no way of knowing how things would have played out. Yes, there are arguments to be made regarding the stabbing and how poorly the WTA and the players handled it. But as far as year-end #1 goes, I don't think this should be up for discussion/debate.

1994, it's clearly ASV.

For 1998, I'd have to go with Hingis over Lindsay. She won 5 titles to Lindsay's 6 titles. Martina won AO, YEC, Indian Wells, Hamburg and Rome. Lindsay won Tokyo, Stanford, San Diego, Manhattan Beach, US Open, Zurich. Also, Martina's Slam record was W-SF-SF-RU while Lindsay's was SF-SF-QF-W.

For 1999, I'd again have to go with Hingis. Although Lindsay won Wimbledon and YEC to Martina's AO, their Slam record was W-RU-R1-RU for Hingis to SF-QF-W-SF for Lindsay. Martina reached 3 Slam finals. Both of them won 7 titles: Hingis won AO, Tokyo, Hilton Head, Berlin, San Diego, Toronto, Filderstadt, while Lindsay won Sydney, Madrid (Tier III), Wimbledon, Stanford, Tokyo (II), Phillidelphia, YEC. Lindsay won Player of the Year by the WTA and in her speech, she said she was accepting this on behalf of herself and Martina as both players deserved this award.

DennisFitz
Nov 5th, 2011, 08:42 AM
Overall the averaging system worked out best IMO. This was especially true for the top end part of the scale. One disadvantage though was it punished top tenners who played in lesser events. 80s ladies like Maleeva and Ruzici could win lower tier events and yet move down in the rankings.

Rollo - this was not quite true. But the ranking system wasn't as transparent as it is today. A Maleeva or Ruzici winning the equivalent of a Tier IV event might possibly earn fewer points than their current point average. Sorry, but I no longer have the data. But trust me on this please, I don't believe any player would have suffered by winning a tournament, unless it was a #1 or #2 in the pre "play down rule" era.

It is true that the WTA did initiate their "play down" rule. Which meant that if a player won a tournament, and the total # of points earned was less than their ranking average, they earned their current average. And I always felt this was a very fair adjustment they made. The reality is that it didn't come into play very often. And only affected Martina and Chris, and then Steffi and Monica in their most dominating seasons. If any of those players played a lesser event, Tier III, or where they didn't defeat many highly ranked opponents, the points earned would be less than their average. (And I say if you win a weaker event beating lower ranked opponents, should you expect your ranking average to go up?!?)

The worst example was Hana Mandlikova in 1981 when she was ranked below Andrea Jaeger-and this in spite of winning or making the final of the last 4 slams. (See Sumarokov-Elstons post above).

It does seem like a ranking injustice for Hana to have been ranked below Andrea in 1981 when Hana had a much better record in the majors, beginning with the 1980 US Open. I did re-calculate the 1981 season, based on the average system. Believe it or not, the order of finish was the same. Much to my surprise, Andrea still ranked ahead of Hana. Subjectively, many people would have Hana ahead of Andrea. But the fact is overall, Andrea was more consistent. If they had a system back then like they do today where you had a "best of", Hana would probably rank ahead of Andrea.


I recall they "corrected" this by giving Martina and Chris freebie points to play in lesser events, because otherwise it hurt their rankings to even play some events!
They weren't exactly freebie points. But the very top players didn't have to worry that they might win a tournament one week, but see their average go down.

mick1303
Nov 17th, 2011, 01:02 PM
Here is the link to 2011 stat review and ranking I do using my own “weighted ranking”.
http://www.talkabouttennis.com/forum/blog.php?b=419

It is worth noting that I have Kvitova well ahead of Wozniacki this year.
Also I had Serena as #1, Clijsters as #2 and Wozniacki as #3 last year;
I had Serena well ahead of Safina in 2009 and I had Serena ahead of Jankovic in 2008.
Not by my opinion but by my numbers.

mick1303
Nov 17th, 2011, 01:09 PM
double post removed

justineheninfan
Nov 17th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Thanks for the breakdown. Everyone knows the WTA ranking system is broken and under a half decent system Kvitova would have ended many points above Wozniacki this year. Even the WTA know it as shown by their Award choices.

austinrunner
Nov 18th, 2011, 04:26 AM
Here is the link to 2011 stat review and ranking I do using my own “weighted ranking”.

Not by my opinion but by my numbers.

The calculations themselves (number crunching) are not subjective. But the weights, etc. are purely subjective. So, your ranking system suffers from the same flaws as every other one ever invented.

mick1303
Nov 18th, 2011, 03:01 PM
The calculations themselves (number crunching) are not subjective. But the weights, etc. are purely subjective. So, your ranking system suffers from the same flaws as every other one ever invented.

I’m fully aware of this. In the beginning I was trying to make a poll on the importance of components and assign weights according to the results of this poll. But the answers were unsatisfactory – I think I’ve got a set of weights only from one person (not counting myself).

I would appreciate any input on the matter. Just post on TAT or here if you have your own version of weights.