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View Full Version : Do the fans and media fuss too much over rankings?


JennyS
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:06 PM
Do the fans and media make the rankings more important than they are?

*JR*
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:19 PM
Absolutely. Unlike in team sports, the way tennis calculates them is totally arbitrary.

bandabou
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:27 PM
The rankings-system is just flawed.....rewards quantity over quality, by allowing players to discard weak results.

A rankings-system should reward QUALITY first!

JennyS
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:29 PM
I don't like the rankings, so I count myself as one who fusses too much over the rankings.

faboozadoo15
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:34 PM
it does reward quality, (expletive).
serena was ranked #1 with 12 or so tournaments because they were all awesome tournaments.

but justine and kim have dominated since shes been out, have won more titles than serena this year, and have played more in general.

for serena to still be #1 (while playing like 10 tournaments in 52 weeks) when justine has 2 slams and 8 titles would be bullshit.
the only argument that could hold water is if you say the ranking system holds kim's quantity of play... bc she hasn't won a slam, but she has wonj everything else-- 9 titles...

goldenlox
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:42 PM
Which media? The U.S. sports media has no idea who the #1 is.
And they don't care.

CapFan#1
Oct 20th, 2003, 09:53 PM
Certainly some posters here focus WAY too much on it!!

Pamela Shriver
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:07 PM
If you ask me, there's too much emphasis on grand slam singles titles too!! So, in my new revised tennis tour:

DOUBLES GS titles means EVERYTHING.

Singles GS & rankings means NOTHING.

Pamela Shriver
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:08 PM
PS That makes me the master of the Universe

SueBarker
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:19 PM
*cough* What about people who have won the French Open?

bandabou
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:23 PM
it does reward quality, (expletive).
serena was ranked #1 with 12 or so tournaments because they were all awesome tournaments.

but justine and kim have dominated since shes been out, have won more titles than serena this year, and have played more in general.

for serena to still be #1 (while playing like 10 tournaments in 52 weeks) when justine has 2 slams and 8 titles would be bullshit.
the only argument that could hold water is if you say the ranking system holds kim's quantity of play... bc she hasn't won a slam, but she has wonj everything else-- 9 titles...

But isnīt it about Kim and Justine that we are talking about now?!

Pamela Shriver
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:24 PM
Hey Sue, I really don't think winning the French Open even comes CLOSE to winning a few Wimbledon dubs titles c'mon be serious here!

SueBarker
Oct 20th, 2003, 10:29 PM
OK, so I'll admit that you are Queen of the Universe Pam, but don't I get special treatment with the rankings because of being me?

faboozadoo15
Oct 20th, 2003, 11:34 PM
u can put them on ignore
not like i'd do that in a million years-- love ya pam!

~ The Leopard ~
Oct 20th, 2003, 11:59 PM
Yes, let's have more fuss about the doubles rankings. The truly great players are the ones that made it to # 1 in doubles.

Anna K!! :worship:

TonyP
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:22 AM
Tennis is one of the few professions, much less sports, in which there is a single, universally accepted ranking that is good all over the world.

It doesn't happen in football, because you got American football, Australian Rules football and what Americans call soccer, played in virtually the rest of the world.

IN auto racing, you have NASCAR, CART, IRL, IROC, Winston Cup and NHRA rankings, and that's just in the US alone.

Overseas, you have countless circuits, including, of course, Formula One, which has a world champion, based on races taking place in North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe.

Tennis is one of the few endeavors where there is a universally recognized world number one in men's and women's categories.

That to me is something very special, since you can't say "I was number one in the world" in most other sports, or even professions. There's no number one doctor or Lawyer or engineer or pastry chef or dress designer.

There is in tennis.

And you can't get that ranking in tennis over night, no matter how good you are. It is also, as the tour has shown since Martina relinquished the crown, very, very difficult to hang on to that title for very long.

So, to answer the question, no, people do not make too much out of it.

Remember, all you have to do is play great tennis for 14 days to win a slam. You have to play great tennis for a lot longer than that to get to be number one.

*JR*
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:34 AM
Remember, all you have to do is play great tennis for 14 days to win a slam. You have to play great tennis for a lot longer than that to get to be number one.
Venus wasn't #1 for '01 for the crime of going to school (thus 10 events, inc. 2 Slam titles). Monica wasn't after Hamburg for the crime of being stabbed by:
Guenter Parche.
The Tour (inc. most of the active players).
:confused:

kell
Oct 21st, 2003, 02:27 AM
it does reward quality, (expletive).
serena was ranked #1 with 12 or so tournaments because they were all awesome tournaments.

but justine and kim have dominated since shes been out, have won more titles than serena this year, and have played more in general.

for serena to still be #1 (while playing like 10 tournaments in 52 weeks) when justine has 2 slams and 8 titles would be bullshit.
the only argument that could hold water is if you say the ranking system holds kim's quantity of play... bc she hasn't won a slam, but she has wonj everything else-- 9 titles...

At last! Some common sense!

A player may have more talent, but if they aren't playing, even if it isn't their fault, why should they get to keep their ranking while other players are working hard and earning points.

The system rewards quality and quantity, which is fair, because it is difficult to play a lot of tournaments, like Kim done. Yet at the same time, Serena deserved her no 1 ranking, even though she didn't play as much, because she won higher paying tournys which means harder opponents.

vogus
Oct 21st, 2003, 04:13 AM
as is often the case, i have to agree with TonyP. The tennis world ranking system is something unique in sports - if anything, it doesn't get fussed over enough.

Although yeah, Capriati should have been #1 in '01, not Davenport. But she played so horrible in the indoor season that year that she blew her gigantic points lead. But it was still the player's fault, not the rankings.

Gowza
Oct 21st, 2003, 04:47 AM
yes, the players should be the only people worrying about their rank.

~ The Leopard ~
Oct 21st, 2003, 05:01 AM
yes, the players should be the only people worrying about their rank.

Maybe in an ideal world, but the fans of any sport get obsessed with rankings, league ladders, etc, etc. It's just human nature.

Gowza
Oct 21st, 2003, 05:59 AM
Maybe in an ideal world, but the fans of any sport get obsessed with rankings, league ladders, etc, etc. It's just human nature.

yeah i understand that.

Brian Stewart
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:30 AM
There is a bit too much fuss over rankings sometimes, usually centering on the #1 ranking. In particular, it's when people feel that the "wrong" person is #1. This usually encompasses two groups.
(1) fans of a rival player with similar good results
(2) writers who don't follow the women's tour, and pass judgements solely on the basis of 4 tournaments

The thing to remember is, the rankings are a measure of results, not talent. The #1 ranking, by extension, is a measure of who had the best results over the past year.

Does that mean they are the best player? No, and yes. In the absolute sense, the best player would be the one who would win against any other player if both were playing at their normal level.
However, it could also be stated that the #1 ranked player is the best player for the entire past year. Maybe they aren't the most talented player, and maybe they haven't been the best player for each part of the year, but overall, they've outdone each of their competitors for a greater portion of the year than they have been outdone by them.

Results can be looked on as a product of 3 things.

(1) talent. Even if you feel a certain player may be ranked higher or lower than their talent dictates, the fact of the matter is, to get to, say, the top 20, requires someone to have a lot of talent. They must be a damn good player. And anyone that is or has been top 10, or within spitting distance of the top 10, is an outstanding player.

(2) health. A player can only produce the results they are capable of if they can get on the court. Injuries or illnesses can adversely affect a player by keeping them from playing at all, by hampering them while they are playing, and/or by cutting into their preparation time, leaving them way off form even when they are healthy enough to play.

(3) luck. A player needs some luck to achieve good results. Not only luck in terms of health, but other factors. Luck with draws. Do you get, or avoid, the hot players or your personal nemesis. Do you wind up in the section of the draw where all the upsets occured? Do you get to play tournaments where a lot of top players withdraw, or are tired/injured? When you play a higher-ranked player, do you happen to play at your best the same day she is playing at her best, or do you play your best on a day when she is a bit off? Do you get to play key matches when conditions are favorable to your game, or not?

These factors seem to fall in order of importance. You first and foremost need the talent to get to/near the top. Dewonder D or Nancy L-C are never going to get near a double digit ranking, no matter how healthy or lucky they are (barring a statistically inconceivable string of injury retirements by their opponents). And then, the only thing preventing you from being in/near your talent peers would be significant injury problems. The luck factor is usually the final determinant among reasonably healthy talent peers. And with the best 17 system, the effects of luck over the long haul have been reduced somewhat.

TonyP
Oct 21st, 2003, 12:52 PM
Brian:

You left out one key factor that can influence a player's ranking. And that's a willingness to play.

Most, no I would say, practically all of the debate over whether the ranking system is fair swirls around the Williams sisters.

And just how many tournaments they play each year is not always dictated by health or luck.

They make conscious choices at times to do other things rather than take part in tournaments. This year Serena pulled out of the Canadian Open because it conflicted with her activing career.

They have, in the past, not played events because they chose to go to school.

In 1991, Serena pulled out of the Paris indoor because she was tired after having played just two tournaments, Sydney and the AO, at the very beginning of the year.

I don't think you can ignore this issue, especially when other players are frequently accused of "using the system" to stay on top. In other words, playing enough tournaments to pile up the points.

It would seem to me, as a matter of fact, that willingness to play is a major factor in the equation.

bandabou
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:09 PM
Brian:

You left out one key factor that can influence a player's ranking. And that's a willingness to play.

Most, no I would say, practically all of the debate over whether the ranking system is fair swirls around the Williams sisters.

And just how many tournaments they play each year is not always dictated by health or luck.

They make conscious choices at times to do other things rather than take part in tournaments. This year Serena pulled out of the Canadian Open because it conflicted with her activing career.

They have, in the past, not played events because they chose to go to school.

In 1991, Serena pulled out of the Paris indoor because she was tired after having played just two tournaments, Sydney and the AO, at the very beginning of the year.

I don't think you can ignore this issue, especially when other players are frequently accused of "using the system" to stay on top. In other words, playing enough tournaments to pile up the points.

It would seem to me, as a matter of fact, that willingness to play is a major factor in the equation.


And then what is to say about Juju and Kim?! Didnīt Justine play enough?!

switz
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:09 PM
hell no, i laugh my guts out listening to these fans that post so passionately that you would swear they are actually the players competing for the ranking.

i don't think the top player's really give a shit about where they are ranked, especially once they've been number one.

i'm sure they have more important things to worry about, and certainly do not have the time to waste that many of their fans spend having the same arguments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

CamilleVidann
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:18 PM
Well.. I think some top players do care about their rankings. I don't think Serena or Venus does obviously. As for Kim and Justine, they do more then the Williams sistaz do, but not to the extend that lesser ranked players do.
As a fan, I really care about my faves' rankings. I check their weekly rankings and can get excited or disappointed how they go up and down. I don't think it's a bad thing that the media hype about the rankings cuz that just makes the sport more interesting to the general audience. We're mere fans and not players. We don't have to think and act the way the players do. As a dedicated Willy fan, I'm a big sad to see my girls not topping the ranking list. But hey, I jus have to wait n see what happens when they come back.

calabar
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:31 PM
Brian and Tony, I agree with your points of view. I personally think the current ranking system is just fine as it it. flaws and all. I do agree that most of the discussion revolve (unfairly) around the Williams Sisters. They are unquestionably the two BEST tennis players the world has seen since Graf and Seles. That being said, I as a fan of both do not have a problem with their current ranking. I do understand that the ranking system is about results NOT about being the best. Problem is, I'm not in the majority. Human nature being what it is, associates being #1 with being the best, and therin lies the quandry for the media and the general public.

From what I've gleaned from this and other boards, it's my fellow Williams supporters who seem to make the most fuss about the ranking system. Iranically, I have NEVER read or heard a quote from either Venus or Serena complaining about their ranking or the ranking system. Yet their fans complain day in, day out about changing a system that has worked for well over 25 years.

By now I think the players are well aware of who the best players are, regardless of ranking. Just ask them if they were in a final, who would the rather NOT face across the net. I bet the same TWO names would keep coming up.

Cal.

bandabou
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:34 PM
As a dedicated Willy fan, I'm a big sad to see my girls not topping the ranking list. But hey, I jus have to wait n see what happens when they come back.

Me too....itīs sad to see Vee down to no.6....but Iīm sure we will be back with a vengeance!!

The Crow
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:50 PM
There is a bit too much fuss over rankings sometimes, usually centering on the #1 ranking. In particular, it's when people feel that the "wrong" person is #1. This usually encompasses two groups.
(1) fans of a rival player with similar good results
(2) writers who don't follow the women's tour, and pass judgements solely on the basis of 4 tournaments

The thing to remember is, the rankings are a measure of results, not talent. The #1 ranking, by extension, is a measure of who had the best results over the past year.

Does that mean they are the best player? No, and yes. In the absolute sense, the best player would be the one who would win against any other player if both were playing at their normal level.
However, it could also be stated that the #1 ranked player is the best player for the entire past year. Maybe they aren't the most talented player, and maybe they haven't been the best player for each part of the year, but overall, they've outdone each of their competitors for a greater portion of the year than they have been outdone by them.

Results can be looked on as a product of 3 things.

(1) talent. Even if you feel a certain player may be ranked higher or lower than their talent dictates, the fact of the matter is, to get to, say, the top 20, requires someone to have a lot of talent. They must be a damn good player. And anyone that is or has been top 10, or within spitting distance of the top 10, is an outstanding player.

(2) health. A player can only produce the results they are capable of if they can get on the court. Injuries or illnesses can adversely affect a player by keeping them from playing at all, by hampering them while they are playing, and/or by cutting into their preparation time, leaving them way off form even when they are healthy enough to play.

(3) luck. A player needs some luck to achieve good results. Not only luck in terms of health, but other factors. Luck with draws. Do you get, or avoid, the hot players or your personal nemesis. Do you wind up in the section of the draw where all the upsets occured? Do you get to play tournaments where a lot of top players withdraw, or are tired/injured? When you play a higher-ranked player, do you happen to play at your best the same day she is playing at her best, or do you play your best on a day when she is a bit off? Do you get to play key matches when conditions are favorable to your game, or not?

These factors seem to fall in order of importance. You first and foremost need the talent to get to/near the top. Dewonder D or Nancy L-C are never going to get near a double digit ranking, no matter how healthy or lucky they are (barring a statistically inconceivable string of injury retirements by their opponents). And then, the only thing preventing you from being in/near your talent peers would be significant injury problems. The luck factor is usually the final determinant among reasonably healthy talent peers. And with the best 17 system, the effects of luck over the long haul have been reduced somewhat.

Top-class post! :D

Volcana
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:51 PM
Me too....itīs sad to see Vee down to no.6....but Iīm sure we will be back with a vengeance!!

Speaking of vengeance, either Justine or Kim will be seeded to face Venus in the YEC semis.

Calvin
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:54 PM
why wait untill the semi's? isn't it a RR event?

TonyP
Oct 21st, 2003, 02:13 PM
Cal:

Very good post. I agree with all of it, except the part where you say Venus and Serena are the two best the world has seen since Graf and Seles. I think Hingis and Serena are the two best,and I make my statement based on their records.

Venus may some day eclipse both Serena and Martina, but right now, Martina's record exceeds her's in almost every single category, including their final head-to-head record.

Perhaps Venus will blow past her, but then, she has to actually play more to do that. And she has to play and win.

She doesn't get half credit or something for losing to her sister. It goes down in the record books in the 'L" column, no matter who was on the other side of the net.

I also failed to mention the issue of the Williams sisters ducking each other except in the slams, at at Miami and at the championships.

This to some extent contributes to their records, since if they faced each other in more normal tournaments, only one of them could emerge from each tournament with a title.

I know of no two other players who engaged in this kind of "cherry picking" events.

At the height of their rivalry, Hingis and Davenport did NOT duck one another. IN 2000, for instance, they met in five finals, only one of them a slam.

bandabou
Oct 21st, 2003, 02:20 PM
At the height of their rivalry, Hingis and Davenport did NOT duck one another. IN 2000, for instance, they met in five finals, only one of them a slam.

So?! What is better?! The sisters played only five finals since ī01 but all were at slams... thatīs better.

bandabou
Oct 21st, 2003, 02:21 PM
why wait untill the semi's? isn't it a RR event?

Iīd like to see her in Jujuīs half....so Venus can burry all the talk about Justineīs improven on hardcourts this and that.