Originally Posted by chris whiteside
I really would find it hard to disagree with the Seagram panel made up of 15 tennis correspondents.
The percentage figures are total matches won/lost which I worked out and are remarkably consistent with the rankings.
1 King 88.37%
2 Richey 94.00%
3 Court 83.33%
4 Wade 78.57%
5 Jones 76.31%
6 Tegart 71.01%
7 Bueno 75.86%
8 du Plooy 66.67%
9 Bowrey 54.00%
10 Casals 57.50%
Withe the small group of professional women you just have to judge fron the tournaments they played although they did compete at RG, Wimby and Forest Hills and enough elsewhere.
I don't believe anyone would go against King as the No. 1 , Wimbledon and Australian Champion plus US finallist and French semi. She was down 0-2 to Nancy Richey but lost only 3 other matches all year one to Wade in the USO final.
The next three places could be argued any way depending on the importance you attach to any one event. Court, Richey and Wade. Does winning the USO automatically entitle you to No. 2 spot despite losing the first round at Wimbledon, and with 15 defeats for the year? What about a consistent off record but so-so in the Slams.
Nancy Richey would be no. 2 because she won the French, reached the Wimbledon semi, didn't play the US but altogether won 9 tournaments and only lost 3 matches all year - to Wade in the Wightman Cup and twice to Tegart including the Wimbledon semi final but against that she had 4 victories plus an advantage over BJK.
How do you assesss Virginia Wade? Brilliant at the USO, a bummer at Wimby where she loses 1st round to Sandberg and a host of losses to many lesser players but also winning her sole matches against King and Richey although losing 5 times out of 6 to Court. Court lost the Aussie final to King but won the South African title beating Wade. The only player she had a losing record against was BJK but she also managed to win the US amateur so allied to Wade's 1st round loss at Wimbledon is probably just worth the No.3 although I wouldn't argue with Wade 3 and Court 4.
Jones and Tegart are the next two. Jones is clearly below the top 4 with losing records against them all but aside from that she only lost to Casals at the Pacific SW and once to Tegart balanced by a win. She was French finallist plus semi-finallist at Wimbleon and USO. Fewer tournaments than normal because of the Professional Tour so performance in the Majors where they all met assumes greater significance. She had 9 defeats. Judy Tegart was a great Wimbledon finallist and also made the German final but the only other top tenner she had a winning record against was Casals although she won 2 matches against Court. She was a semi-finallist at the Australian and reached the quarters of the US but had a host of losses to lesser players. She won 8 out of 23 matches against the other top 10 players.
Bueno didn't play until the French Open and reached the quarters there, at Wimbledon and the semi at the US and won 2 tournaments out of 9 beating Court twice at Essex and the US Nationals.
Annette du Plooy won the German plus several smaller events, Lesley Turner the Italian and many small very weak field tourneys in Europe but had 23 defeats to du Plooy's 14. Turner reached the semis at the Australian but had really no-one to beat to get there and the Wimbledon quarters but importantly the Italian beating Court in the final.
The fight for the last place was between Casals, Heldman and Sherriff. Sherriff reached the quarters at Rome and RG and won a host of small tournaments but beat no-one in the top 10 except Bowrey. Heldman also won several smaller tournaments but only beat Casals of the top 10. Casas also had an up and down season but beat Court twice including the quarters of the Pacific SW where she then beat Jones and Bueno in order to win the title which gets her the 10th spot.
Just for you Chris!
Mrs King cleaerly deserves the top spot, with her brace of majors (Wimbledon-Australian) and a final at Forest Hills. While clearly the best overall, she was not the leader on clay, that honour going to Nancy Richey who beat BJK en route to the French Open and won titles at Barranquilla, St Petersburg, Puerto Rico, Curaçao, Houston, Cinnati and the US Clay Courts. For that, a semi final finish at Wimbledon in her only other slam of the year, her 2-0 h2h record over BJK and an excellent w/l record over the year, she deserves the #2 spot.
Had she played the US and won it, she would have had a good claim to the #1 spot for the year, imo...
Court's superior w/l percentage, her 12 titles to Wade's 7 and her h2h lead are hard to argue against yet Court's failure to win a major (even though she did reach the final in Oz and won the South African title) is troublesome. Then there's Wade's stunning US Open, where she took out Tegart (the Wimbledon finalist), Ann Jones (RG finalist) and King (Wimbledon and Aussie Champ) in successive matches. How do you balance flashes of brilliance against consistency? I'm going to hedge my bets and rank them equal third.
Jones, Tegart and Bueno are also pretty close in my opinion. The first two could boast second place in a major, Bueno made it to the US amateur/nationals final. In their other majors, Jones had two semis, Bueno two quarters and a semi and Tegart, a semi in Australia and a quarter at Forest Hills. Jones beat Bueno at Eastbourne and had a win over Court at Queens and beat Tegart once to square their h2h. Bueno could boast two wins over Court, one at the US Open, a win over Wade and one over Tegart. Tegart had a win over Court in Oz at the beginning of the year and a second at Wimbledon but lost to her on clay at Hilversum and on cement at Berkeley, plus a win over Jones. Jones won the bigger titles - Caracas, Queens and the South American - on grass and clay, so I think she deserves the #5 place most. As for the other two, I think I'd have to go with Bueno at 6 by a whisker and give Tegart the #7 rank.
There are several candidates for the last few places and I don't think i've got all the info on them so it's harder to judge. Of the leading candidates, Van Zyl-du Plooy won 5+ titles, the German Open over Niessen, Wade and Tegart being the most significant, Turner won the Italian Championships over Krantzcke, Gourlay and Court and Casals lifted the Pacific SW over Court, Jones and Bueno. Sherriff won 10 titles, though none of them was very significant, Heldman and Krantzcke 4 but none had any big wins to speak of. I think I'd plump for the Seagrove panel's order here but they're very close.
Below them would come (in no partcular order) Niessen-Masthoff (3 titles, all on clay) Eisel, Melville, and Gourlay.
Voilà. I'm wavering re Bueno-Tegart but...