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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #31
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
The figures don't appear to show it but after losing early at her first two Slams Maureen Connolly then went on to win 9 Slams in a row she entered before retiring on the way beating the leading players of the day - you can't do any more than that so to me that's the ultimate.
But her competition didn't include another like her. If she came immediately after Wills/Lenglen and beat Wills/Lenglen a couple of times, I think she would top this list.

Which goes to show that it's not just about your dominance but the dominance of your competition.

This is exactly how it works in chess, apparently. I'm not a chess nerd but I found out from someone who is.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #32
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
But her competition didn't include another like her. If she came immediately after Wills/Lenglen and beat Wills/Lenglen a couple of times, I think she would top this list.

Which goes to show that it's not just about your dominance but the dominance of your competition.

This is exactly how it works in chess, apparently. I'm not a chess nerd but I found out from someone who is.
But it's not Connolly's fault who her opponents were ... or that they weren't up to her level - and that is subjective anyway. I think some of her opponents are underrated.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #33
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by tennisvideos View Post
But it's not Connolly's fault who her opponents were ... or that they weren't up to her level - and that is subjective anyway. I think some of her opponents are underrated.
I agree it's not her fault BUT the fact that her opponents didn't dominate at any other period in history is objective.

I think if anything WWII being a factor is bigger. If it weren't for WWII, there certainly might've been someone dominating in the late 40s and she would've had to overcome her.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 01:53 PM   #34
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Fantasio, thanks for that explanation. And now I am really understanding this. It confirms my suspicions that the reason why Seles is so high is because of her success against Graf.
You're right. Of course, defeating Graf was important because Seles defeated all the other players (that is, was consisent). Sanchez-Vicario also defeated Graf, but was not consistent!

Quote:
The reason why Connolly who had same Grand Slam success as Seles is, comparatively, so low is because she didn't have high quality competition.
Right again. It was not Connolly's fault, and maybe she could have defeated Court/King/everyone else, but there's no way to prove it. We only know she was stronger than Fry/Hart/Brough, but that's not enough.

Quote:
To sum up, Seles dominated an era that included a GOAT and her losses came to that GOAT. Comparatively, it was harder for her to have dethroned Graf than anyone else in history and for dethroning Graf, she's rewarded heavily here.
You understood everything. :-)

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Originally Posted by tennisvideos View Post
And to only factor in the slams is very limiting - years at #1, career singles winning % and tournament wins should also factor in there somewhere.
I said many times that dominance level is just one factor. I never said ELO ranking=GOAT ranking and I myself think Navratilova to be the GOAT (nor Graf neither Seles).

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Which are? (reasons for not counting "minors")
There are two main reasons.

First one, in tennis there's no official ELO ranking, in chess there is. This is one of the main reasons why top chess players do not compete in minor events: playing weak players is risky, because losing to just one of them would mean losing a lot of points. Beating all the others (in chess most tournaments are round-robin) could not compensate such a loss. In tennis, majors are valued much more than "minors", so top players do compete, often lose, but without consequences. Our Schiavone, for example, did not play seriously in minor events after winning in Paris last year, still never exited top 10. In chess that would not have been possible, and had she been a chess player, she would only have played in "majors". As many top players are Schiavone-like (i.e Williams sisters), it's better to count only majors: weak players will be ranked badly (as they play seriously in minor events) but top players will not. As we are only interested in top players, that's enough.

Second one, we've got no complete results for "minors", and it's nonsense counting them starting from 1968 (or 1974). Or we count them all, either we don't. And even counting them all, the Schiavone/Williams problem will stand. You surely do not want Serena to be ranked lower!

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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #35
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

Results are results. How do you know that Schiavone or the Williams sisters didn't try hard in the events that were not Grand Slam tournaments?

I don't care how Serena Williams (or any other player) is ranked. I'm purely interested in an accurate rating. Ignoring non-Grand Slam tournaments is a huge shortcoming of your system, especially given the fact that at times the "minor" tournaments were considered more important than certain Grand Slam tournaments.
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Old Sep 27th, 2011, 04:26 AM   #36
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by Fantasio View Post
I will repeat myself.
In Elo method, dominance duration does NOT count. Only dominance level. Of course Court dominated 5 years, Navratilova also five. Also great was Evert, not mentioning Lenglen and Wills, that you forgot.
All these players could have dominated 20 years or more, there's no difference.

IF you are only looking at dominance level, it's easy to notice that between 1991 and 1993 Seles played 8 majors, won 7, only losing one match to Graf (who is - without any doubt - one of the most likey GOAT candidates). She defeated Graf (twice), Sanchez-Vicario (3 times), old Navratilova (twice), Novotna (once), Sabatini (3 times).
If this is NOT supreme dominance, I don't know how to define such a thing.
Well, Navratilova 1983-1984 dominated. But she "only" won 6 majors, losing to Horvath and Sukova. Losing to a low-ranked player such as Horvath is a disaster, comparing to losign to Graf (in Elo method).

But there's Court in 1969-1971. Well, she's better than Seles, having won 8 majors, losing only to Haydon-Jones - better than Horvath, still no Graf. And Court only defeated King twice, Goolagong twice. Much, bur not as much as Seles. Plus, don't forget she only played 49 matches during 9 majors (winning 48), while Seles played 56, winning 55, despite competing in 8 events. That's why Seles is higher than Court.

Serena played 6 majors, won 5. No match.

Evert played 8, won 6. Very good, and she defeated Goolagong 3 times, Navratilova also 3 times. She only lose to Goolagong and King. That's very good, and she's very close to Seles, but still not equal.

Connolly extraordinary. 9 over 9! Her problem, she did not defeat strong players. Hart, Fry, Brough are top 30 (alltime) at best. And she played 51 matches only.

So, why is Graf ranked higher (more or less, she's equal)? Because between 1988 and 1990 she won 8 majors, played 9, only lose to Sanchez-Vicario (better than Haydon-Jones), defeated Navratilova (3 times), old Evert (3 times), Sabatini (4 times), young Seles (twice), young Sanchez-Vicario (once). I think Seles defeated better opponents, but Graf won more, and more matches (62 over 63).

Now the difference between "dominance level" and "dominance duration" should be clear. Of course I know that Graf dominated more years (there are 1995 and 1996, of course), won much more than Seles, so she's a better GOAT candidate than unlucky Monica. But dominance level is the same.

Or, we can also say that "dominance level" = "strength at best" (if consistent). So, the old question, "was Seles really better than Graf or was Graf not at her best during 1991-1992?" could be settled, as the two players were of equal strength (according to Elo).
OK, I get it now. This is just a dominance rating. If you had a certain level of dominance in the majors, you are ranked high.

I'd have to say it's a nice little statistic. But in the grand scheme if things IMHO, it's not a big deal. I think it's super impressive to have a dominating year or two, the way Djokovic has had this year. I just think that Martina Navratilova's 1983-1984 seasons in the majors, where she won 6 in a row (should she be penalized because the Australian had smaller draw than when Seles played?) is more impressive than Seles 1991-1992 seasons. Martina didn't duck out on one of the majors either.

It's also like saying Chris Evert dominated on clay, winning 125 matches in a row on clay. Erego, she had the top level of dominance in the history of the game. Which is true. Just doesn't mean Chris is the best ever, because she was the best ever on clay.

And majors were majors back in the mid 1970s. But most experts will tell you the VS Championships counted more than a win in the French or Australian.
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Old Sep 27th, 2011, 09:16 AM   #37
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
How do you know that Schiavone or the Williams sisters didn't try hard in the events that were not Grand Slam tournaments?
No comment.

Quote:
Ignoring non-Grand Slam tournaments is a huge shortcoming of your system, especially given the fact that at times the "minor" tournaments were considered more important than certain Grand Slam tournaments.
If you consider dominance in majors to be an important factor, you'll appreciate this ranking. If not, you're welcome.
BTW, I agree that the "only majors" approach is a shortcoming, and that's the reason I introduced a lot of minor changes to the parameters of the Elo system (it's no use going into details). Also, I "promoted" (and counted) to majors Fed Cup finals, Masters tournament and old Hard Court (clay) World Championships. For men, I "promoted" other tournaments, such as WCT finals and Irish Championships, but the general idea is to count all finals played best of 5 - if and when they will be available. Women only play best of 3, so things are more complicated. Even if we'd get complete results, to include every single tournament will only complicate matters, and to decide which tournaments are important (for GOAT researches) and which are not is highly subjective.
This is not as easy as it looks, and required many months of hard work before I felt satisfied with the tuning of the (many) parameters. Could I do better? We need complete results before trying anything, as - I said that before - or you count them all either you don't. Only majors is nevertheless a good approach (I know many people firmly stating "minors" count nothing), although it works better for men - best of 5 makes a big difference!
The real problem is: will we ever get complete results? I'm afraid this won't happen. Even old almanacs as Wright/Ditson or Spalding are far from exaustive. So, what to do? One way or another we will be forced to choose which tournaments are important and which are not. But now... the "only majors" approach is the only one available.
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Old Sep 27th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #38
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Results are results. How do you know that Schiavone or the Williams sisters didn't try hard in the events that were not Grand Slam tournaments?

I don't care how Serena Williams (or any other player) is ranked. I'm purely interested in an accurate rating. Ignoring non-Grand Slam tournaments is a huge shortcoming of your system, especially given the fact that at times the "minor" tournaments were considered more important than certain Grand Slam tournaments.
This has already been talked about but I just want to say again the lack of complete records. Rollo and others are still coming up with research about tournament results nobody knew about or weren't available in public. How will you include everything? Also, Davis Cup was the most important event for players for a long time. Are we to include those ties? World Team Tennis? Where does it begin and end?

I, for one, am glad that this system only took into account the Grand Slams. The books are called "Grand Slam Record Book", they're about the 4 majors so it's appropriate that it considers dominance at the level and shows a rating at level. Domination at majors is a major factor, if not, the No. 1 factor for greatness anyway. Other things are just secondary.

Whatever you think about this, you can't deny it's not objective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisFitz View Post
I'd have to say it's a nice little statistic. But in the grand scheme if things IMHO, it's not a big deal.
I think it's better than any other subjective rating/ranking we have going at the moment. And ask anyone, I'm by no means a fan of Graf. I think Navratilova should be No. 1 too but this is at least an objective way of looking at things without bringing in personal biases.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 01:14 AM   #39
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

Every ranking or "dominance" system ever devised is subjective, including this one. From the decision about which tournaments to include (i.e., what is a "major" tournament?) to the decision about which statistical method to use (e.g., how to tweak ELO), it's entirely subjective. Note the author's admission in this thread that he (or she) "promoted" certain tournaments and events to "major" status, e.g., Federation Cup and Fed Cup finals (but curiously not the semifinals).

The mere fact that we don't (yet) have all the results from every tournament is no reason to ignore 95 percent of the tournaments ever held. That's neither objective nor scientific.

Davis Cup never included women.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #40
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Every ranking or "dominance" system ever devised is subjective, including this one. From the decision about which tournaments to include (i.e., what is a "major" tournament?) to the decision about which statistical method to use (e.g., how to tweak ELO), it's entirely subjective. Note the author's admission in this thread that he (or she) "promoted" certain tournaments and events to "major" status, e.g., Federation Cup and Fed Cup finals (but curiously not the semifinals).

The mere fact that we don't (yet) have all the results from every tournament is no reason to ignore 95 percent of the tournaments ever held. That's neither objective nor scientific.

Davis Cup never included women.

Where did he say that Fed Cup results were included? Sorry I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought it was only based on Grand Slam results.

Also, what do you mean what is a "major" tournament? Obviously the Grand Slams. And before you start, yes I know that the Canadian in 1900 may have been more prestigious or the Italian Open in the 60s or whatever else but at the end of the day, these are the four majors that tennis historians and fans have unanimously agreed upon.

That doesn't mean, of course, that other results should count. And the author never said that. But what he is trying to achieve here is to objectively measure dominance in slams all-time and this has been achieved.

It's objective because the elo rating system isn't even unique to tennis. It's created by someone who doesn't even play or like tennis and that's as objective as you can get. More objective than any tennis fan trying to push their favourite by arguing for certain stats to used against others.

This was never meant to be a be-all-end-all solution to GOAT discussions and the author clearly stated that at beginning.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #41
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Also, what do you mean what is a "major" tournament? Obviously the Grand Slams. And before you start, yes I know that the Canadian in 1900 may have been more prestigious or the Italian Open in the 60s or whatever else but at the end of the day, these are the four majors that tennis historians and fans have unanimously agreed upon.
There is no such unanimity.

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Where did he say that Fed Cup results were included? Sorry I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought it was only based on Grand Slam results.But what he is trying to achieve here is to objectively measure dominance in slams all-time and this has been achieved.

It's objective because the elo rating system isn't even unique to tennis. It's created by someone who doesn't even play or like tennis and that's as objective as you can get. More objective than any tennis fan trying to push their favourite by arguing for certain stats to used against others.
Refer to the following quotation. Also note that the author's system is not the same as used in chess. The author tweaked it in undisclosed ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasio View Post
BTW, I agree that the "only majors" approach is a shortcoming, and that's the reason I introduced a lot of minor changes to the parameters of the Elo system (it's no use going into details). Also, I "promoted" (and counted) to majors Fed Cup finals, Masters tournament and old Hard Court (clay) World Championships.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #42
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Where did he say that Fed Cup results were included? Sorry I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought it was only based on Grand Slam results.

Also, what do you mean what is a "major" tournament? Obviously the Grand Slams. And before you start, yes I know that the Canadian in 1900 may have been more prestigious or the Italian Open in the 60s or whatever else but at the end of the day, these are the four majors that tennis historians and fans have unanimously agreed upon.

That doesn't mean, of course, that other results should count. And the author never said that. But what he is trying to achieve here is to objectively measure dominance in slams all-time and this has been achieved.

It's objective because the elo rating system isn't even unique to tennis. It's created by someone who doesn't even play or like tennis and that's as objective as you can get. More objective than any tennis fan trying to push their favourite by arguing for certain stats to used against others.

This was never meant to be a be-all-end-all solution to GOAT discussions and the author clearly stated that at beginning.


Previous post from Fantasio.

I agree with most of what you say but funnily enough was going to ask what you thought now that it transpires it is not just Slams alone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasio View Post
No comment.


If you consider dominance in majors to be an important factor, you'll appreciate this ranking. If not, you're welcome.
BTW, I agree that the "only majors" approach is a shortcoming, and that's the reason I introduced a lot of minor changes to the parameters of the Elo system (it's no use going into details). Also, I "promoted" (and counted) to majors Fed Cup finals, Masters tournament and old Hard Court (clay) World Championships. For men, I "promoted" other tournaments, such as WCT finals and Irish Championships, but the general idea is to count all finals played best of 5 - if and when they will be available. Women only play best of 3, so things are more complicated. Even if we'd get complete results, to include every single tournament will only complicate matters, and to decide which tournaments are important (for GOAT researches) and which are not is highly subjective.
This is not as easy as it looks, and required many months of hard work before I felt satisfied with the tuning of the (many) parameters. Could I do better? We need complete results before trying anything, as - I said that before - or you count them all either you don't. Only majors is nevertheless a good approach (I know many people firmly stating "minors" count nothing), although it works better for men - best of 5 makes a big difference!
The real problem is: will we ever get complete results? I'm afraid this won't happen. Even old almanacs as Wright/Ditson or Spalding are far from exaustive. So, what to do? One way or another we will be forced to choose which tournaments are important and which are not. But now... the "only majors" approach is the only one available.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #43
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
There is no such unanimity.



Refer to the following quotation. Also note that the author's system is not the same as used in chess. The author tweaked it in undisclosed ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
Previous post from Fantasio.

I agree with most of what you say but funnily enough was going to ask what you thought now that it transpires it is not just Slams alone.
God I was searching for Fed Cup on every page but this one. Someone's not thinking outside the square today.

Anyway, I think it proves there's subjectivity in the parameters but that was obvious from the beginning. If you did only open era, you'll get a different result.

I still don't think it's possible to count all minors with the information available since we can't even rely on some of the information. For example, how many sources actually can prove some of these results from a century ago?

I would've preferred to have seen one just on Grand Slams alone but I think in the case of the very top, not sure how big a change Fed Cup, WHCC and YEC(?) were going to make anyway.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #44
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Every ranking or "dominance" system ever devised is subjective, including this one. From the decision about which tournaments to include (i.e., what is a "major" tournament?) to the decision about which statistical method to use (e.g., how to tweak ELO), it's entirely subjective. Note the author's admission in this thread that he (or she) "promoted" certain tournaments and events to "major" status, e.g., Federation Cup and Fed Cup finals (but curiously not the semifinals).

The mere fact that we don't (yet) have all the results from every tournament is no reason to ignore 95 percent of the tournaments ever held. That's neither objective nor scientific.

Davis Cup never included women.
I have to agree with austinrunner here - although personally I wish you'd just left it at Slams. I think you've probably devalued it slightly by going further because then it does not become as objective.

Of course, I originally thought it was almost events which when you think of it is almost impossible - further results keep turning up all the time.

I am uneasy about including Fed Cup because you can advance to the final even though you lose your matches but your team-mates win e.g. Billie-Jean King lost to Ann Jones in the 1966 semi but advanced because Julie Heldman won her match and then they won the doubles.

Rollo awarded ranking points for the Fed Cup and as a result of this it put BJK at #1 on his list and for the overall panel ranking otherwise Maria Bueno would have finshed as #1 - I always felt this was dubious.

I know you're not claiming it to be definitive but I do believe it would have had more relevance based on Slams only rather than adding some other events as the Slams are the cornerstone of the game.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #45
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Re: the Grand Slam Record Book vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
I have to agree with austinrunner here - although personally I wish you'd just left it at Slams. I think you've probably devalued it slightly by going further because then it does not become as objective.

Of course, I originally thought it was almost events which when you think of it is almost impossible - further results keep turning up all the time.

I am uneasy about including Fed Cup because you can advance to the final even though you lose your matches but your team-mates win e.g. Billie-Jean King lost to Ann Jones in the 1966 semi but advanced because Julie Heldman won her match and then they won the doubles.

Rollo awarded ranking points for the Fed Cup and as a result of this it put BJK at #1 on his list and for the overall panel ranking otherwise Maria Bueno would have finshed as #1 - I always felt this was dubious.

I know you're not claiming it to be definitive but I do believe it would have had more relevance based on Slams only rather than adding some other events as the Slams are the cornerstone of the game.
But hold on, you're not getting points for reaching the Fed Cup final, you're getting points for beating the player in the Fed Cup final.

In your example, the fact that they advanced to the final has no bearing on BJK's ranking.

The fact that she lost to Ann Jones is all that matters.

The important thing is about match ups against other players. You don't get points for achieving something.

So your example about Rollo's results changing won't happen here.
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