View Full Version : Potential Number One

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:21 PM
In this week's Tennis Mailbag on the Sports Illustrated, I came across this intriguing bit of info from Jon Wertheim:

"Kim Clijsters was overwhelmed by Serena in the semis, but keep an eye on Clijsters' ranking. A stats savant made a good point to me: If Clijsters plays -- and does well -- in 20 events this year and Serena only plays her usual 12, Clijsters conceivably could finish the season ranked No. 1, even if Serena owns her head-to-head. Already Clijsters is set to move ahead of Venus next week"

As of right now, Clijsters is about 2,300 points behind Serena in the rankings, with about seven months left in the season. Obviously since it hasn't happened yet, I'm not going to question whether or not Clijsters deserves to be number one in the world, but I would like to know how well she would have to perform, and how Serena would have to perform, to make this "conceivably" happen. Any rankings experts out there who would care to tackle this one?

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:26 PM
Yep this interested me when I read it this week, well we all know Kim has the potential. Maybe Rena will step up her schedule to try and fend her off. Perhaps though he has not thought of the possibility of Kim not being able to defend some points.

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:28 PM
Is it a done deal that Kim will be #2 and Venus #3 next week??

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:29 PM
Yes as Venus will not play till May so she wont defend any points, she may move back though as Kim is taking some time out to.

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:30 PM
I'm definitely no ranking expert...but I'd imagine it of course can definitely happen.

Kim doesn't have that much to defend through the clay season and if she continues to perform well in these tourneys, like she currently is...ie making the semis or finals for the most of them and winning the occasional one maybe two...then who knows? Serena has major points to defend at all the slams.

I'd think that if somehow Kim can upset Serena at one of the majors and then win the whole thing, and go deep in all the tournies she enters..she would be close to Serena. But then you have to remember Kim has to defend all her points in the post-USO tournies that she won last year. So I believe the probably isn't that high for Kim unless Serena lets up and her form goes down. Serena would "have to cooperate".

Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:49 PM
Let's take a hypothetical. Suppose Kim holds the #2 seed for Roland Garros, Venus happens to draw Serena in the Semis. Serena beats Kim for the title.

Serena=about the same points
Kim=+600 or so points

Go to Wimbledon. Suppose this time Venus draws Kim, and manages to beat her. Serena takes title again

Serena=about the same number of points
Kim=+400 or so points

Go to US Open. Suppose we see essentially a carbon copy of Roland Garros

Serena=about the same points
Kim=+550 or so points

That makes up 1550 of the gap between them. Kim will also have an easier time gaining points at smaller events, where she wasn't doing as well til October. The you have to consider this is if Venus never beats Serena, and Kim never beats either. It's probably not going to go that way.

In conclusion, Kim has a decent chance of catching Serena by mid-September, and I would be really surprised if she didn't at least get within a thousand points.

Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:26 AM
Nice math there. Serena has quite a bit to defend.

Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:40 AM
Even thought it is possible. There are way too many variables in play..How Serena performs, How Kim performs, If Serena will play more and Venus obviously gets thrown into the mix as well. If by chance Serena doesn't perform well at one of the slams..then it could get a little more interesting.

Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:51 AM
If she manages to not defend the next 3 GS titles, let's say she's runner up at all 3, Serena loses about 1200 points total from her ranking. That puts her right at Venus/Kim's level. It could be an interesting year!!

Apr 3rd, 2003, 02:50 AM
I dont think Serena or Venus will adjust their schedule to fend off Kim. Rankings dont seem to matter to any of those three.

Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:19 AM
I tend to agree, although it may be unsettling a little for Venus to find herself ranked behind two other players.

Apr 3rd, 2003, 05:25 AM
I dont think Serena or Venus will adjust their schedule to fend off Kim. Rankings dont seem to matter to any of those three.

I don't think Venus would, but I def think Serena would add some more tournys towards the end of the season if she is in danger of losing her ranking!!

Apr 3rd, 2003, 07:03 AM
lol WTA is suddenly down to three players :p

i think the ranking experts need to take into account the other players too... people like monica, lindsay, justine and jennifer are always dangerous!

Apr 4th, 2003, 12:43 PM
This is all chicken talk! look, look people! Serena comes without training and with illness and she wins Miami dropping just a set! What does tell you?! That she is waaaayyyyyy above the rest of the field! Simple as that. For all the good Kim's been playing remember that at the slams she still will have to face many players she hasn't been able to beat yet! On clay she will have to contend with Jen, Amelie, Monica....all are people who can give her trouble! Serena has proven that when slams arrive she is ready to go! I don't think she will go undefeated, but I think she will win at least two more slams this year! Wimbledon and U.S. open are Williams playgarden, so I can't imagine her not at least reaching the finals of both! And if she is true to her word and keeps practicing for the clay season then we may even see a GRAND SLAM this year!!

Apr 4th, 2003, 12:47 PM
If serena wins all four slams she will be #1. She could play 8 tournaments and still be #1. Its not even an issue at the moment.

Apr 4th, 2003, 02:34 PM
That Kim could possibly end the year at no.1 is amazing. After the AO, serena had close to 7000 points and it seemed she could go away for a six month holiday and still remain at no.1. The difference does not seem very big now. It is also hard to imagine that Kim would go through this year without a GS win or at least a final!
This makes for a mouth watering season :drool:
But then again each time there is always a player that suddenly gets up and forces everyone to pay attention! Last year Mauresmo surprised us and then Kim, who knows who will step it up!