Originally Posted by Robert1
Thanks for joining in guys.
First of all, why 1979 to 1981? Because those were the years when that competition was so close, it wasn't close in 1978 nor in 1982, as you said Andy, Austin wasn't good enough in those years - so why take them? This is a thread about 79 to 81 because it were interesting, competitive years and my intention is to show that Austin is underrated and the ranking system maybe wasn't very fair. The situation with Seles is different, because as dominant as Seles was, how can you argue her number 1 spot before the stabbing? A discussion wouldn't make much sense.
The "real" rankings, well, you could consider them, Declan, I didn't consider the rankings because HERE I am doing the rankings, it's like Andy doing his own (interesting) rankings the other day, I don't think the "real" ranking was considered there. So proving that the "real" rankings were a bit dodgy means I cannot use them to produce a more objective ranking, see?
Sponsors championships were the most important events after Wimbledon and US Open in 79,80 and about as important as FO and AO in 81, preacherman. So if Navratilova, Evert, Austin won 2 GSs each, the winner of those championships should decide it I think, and Austin was clearly the best of those. That they played out 2 a year is no argument as they had a great field anytime, having the best players, except for New York 1981 (when Navratilova won).
I see your point, Evert got to many more finals (that she lost) than Austin. So the question is: are 2 Grand Slam wins plus 4 lost finals (Evert) better than 2 Grand Slam wins plus zero lost finals plus 3 WTA championship wins (Austin)? I would take the latter results, because I want to find the best player, and the best player must win - not gain the most lost finals. But that's my opinion. If you emphasis pure consistency, Evert's ahead in the category.
The competition in 78 was really really close, Robert, so much so that you had MN ranked #1 by the WTA and CE made World Champion by the ITF. Jan-Jul was all Martina and Jul-Dec was all Chrissie. Tracy A. was #6 in 78, which brings me back to your starting point - the selection of these 3 years as the time frame. That period "optimises" Tracy's stats - so the assumption upon which you base the argument is slanted towards T.A. from the word go. Martina's career is not divided 73-78, 79-81, 82-ff, etc, and Chris' career is not divided in a way which gives a 79-81 period either. If you were to do your analysis with the phases in their careers as a starting point, the 79-81 timeframe would not figure as a defined period. Do you see what I'm trying to say?
To move from the starting point to your finishing point, concluding that T.A. was "the best" over that whole period is also untenable. Noone would dispuite the fact that she had a brief period or two of pre-eminence within those three years but the other two women you mention sat much more securely on the throne for most of the time: Martina Jan 79-Mar 80 and Chris Nov 80-Dec 81. Tracy is tennis' Lady Jane Grey - England's 9 days' queen who usurped the throne from the Tudor sisters - and got the chop when order was restored.