Weeks At Number 1 - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2015, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Weeks At Number 1

I've never liked the way "Weeks at #1" is promoted. It lists Graf at 377; Navratilova at 332; Evert at 260 and Serena at 240. Obviously, the first computer rankings didn't come out until late 1975.

I've done some statistical work and come up with weekly rankings from 1969 until the first WTA rankings came out. I'm not claiming that these are perfect by any means. I simply gave points for events (somewhat subjective) and taken the top 12 point amounts from each player. I have weekly rankings for the top 20. (If anyone wants to see them, PM me and I'll send them. It's a big Excel file.) Also, the rankings are taken from a 12 month prior period. I know that a divisor was used when the rankings came out, but I don't think the archives I've used are complete enough not to miss some early rounds.

The main point I want to make is that using my system, Chris Evert comes out as #1 in April of 1974, as soon as enough Margaret Court points fall off from the prior year. In the first few weeks, BJK is fairly close, but after a few weeks, Evert opens a wide margin over King and Goolagong. Even with BJK holding the '74 USO and '75 Wimbledon, Evert's lead is still quite substantial. Evert played more and was more consistent.

And so, I propose that Evert would have had 81 additional weeks at #1 had the rankings come out earlier. Not enough to trump Graf, but enough to put her above Navratilova. Had the rankings been done differently, this figure might be lower (or higher - Court is #1 for several months while she is on maternity leave). Even allowing for discrepancies, I think Evert would probably be at least even with Martina in "Weeks at #1".

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2015, 04:30 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Hi PF

Interesting-I would think Court might stay #1 longer with two out of 3 slams, but Chris did win the Slims event. the other thing is if Court took herself off the Computer due to pregnancy.

No doubt Evert would add considerable numbers to her total had the computer started earlier.

So many possible scenarios.

Can you provide the run of weeks and totals for Court and King? And did Evonne ever crack #1 on your list in 1971?

These are always fun.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2015, 04:31 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

I recall reading that there was also a sort of "secret" computer list from 1972 or so, but have never seen rankings from it.

This was supposedly used for seedings.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2015, 10:44 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Is there any hope to tweak the figures by beginning after the US Open of 1968 so that Virgina Wade briefly captures the #1 spot??
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2015, 11:49 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

More info on this 'secret' list please!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2015, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Hi PF

Can you provide the run of weeks and totals for Court and King? And did Evonne ever crack #1 on your list in 1971?

These are always fun.
I will go back further when 1967 is more complete in the results thread.

King #1 - last week of 1968 (my 1st week)
Court #1 - 2nd week of 1969
King #1 - last week of April 1969 (one week only - then back to Court)
Court stayed #1 until the 2nd week of September 1971 (began to lose results due to pregnancy - interesting that she had been so far ahead that it took King/Goolagong that long to catch her)
King #1 from USO win in 1971
Goolagong #1 - 2nd week of January 1972 (3 weeks)
King #1 - 5th week of January 1972
Goolagong #1 - 2nd week in April 1972 through 1st week of June (King wins French -takes #1)
King #1 - 2nd week of June 1972 through 1st week of September 1973 (Court wins 3rd Slam of year)
Court #1 - 2nd week of September 1973 through 1st week of April 1974 (off tour with pregnancy)
Evert #1 - 2nd week of April 1974 through...

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

What hurt Evonne in the fight with BJK for #1 is that many of her tournament wins were in weaker events while King won events over quality fields.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2015, 06:13 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Was Evonne only at number 1 for 12 weeks total (including the 1976 stint)?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2015, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Yes, according to what I've done. Though she won 2 Slams in '71, outside the Slams her record was far inferior to both King and Court. King played more big events. Goolagong played quite a few events in which Court was the only other top player and lost the majority of those tournaments to Court. King played events with more top players and won on a consistent level.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2015, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Here are some snapshots of key weeks in '71 and '72.

1st week of June '71 (before French)
1 Court 536
2 King 344
3 Casals 305
4 Wade 216
5 Durr 215
6 Goolagong 202

following week
1 Court 483
2 King 338
3 Casals 296
4 Goolagong 275

After Wimbledon '71
1 Court 445
2 Goolagong 374
3 King 314

After USO '71
1 King 376
2 Court 369
3 Goolagong 352

2nd week of Jan '72
1 Goolagong 378
2 King 376
3 Court 350

5th week of Jan '72
1 King 376
2 Goolagong 369
3 Court 322

2nd week of April '72
1 Goolagong 387
2 King 380
3 Court 248

1st week of June '72
1 Goolagong 393
2 King 372
3 Richey Gunter 262

After French
1 King 428
2 Goolagong 365
3 Durr 242

After Wimbledon '72
1 King 490
2 Goolagong 327
3 Casals 266

After Wimbledon '75 (closest she got until computer)
1 Evert 406
2 Goolagong 369
3 King 319

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2015, 09:05 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Thank you again for all the research. Why was Goolagong ranked #5 when the computer rankings finally emerged that fall? She was seeded 4th at both Wimbledon and the US and very surprisingly 3rd BEHIND OLGA MOROZOVA at that year's Aussie, which she was defending champion. I always found her ranking in '75 to be quite odd since she made the finals of all 3 slams she played and won one of them over a quality opponent.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2015, 10:35 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

IMO, weeks at @1 is not nearly as important as YE at #1. There were official rankings before 75 and due to the fact that women's tennis was Always Open to All Top Players, rankings and tournament wins before 68 should be counted as official wins.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2015, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark43 View Post
Thank you again for all the research. Why was Goolagong ranked #5 when the computer rankings finally emerged that fall? She was seeded 4th at both Wimbledon and the US and very surprisingly 3rd BEHIND OLGA MOROZOVA at that year's Aussie, which she was defending champion. I always found her ranking in '75 to be quite odd since she made the finals of all 3 slams she played and won one of them over a quality opponent.
Those first rankings seem bogus in many ways. First of all the divisor system (which I like) must have had a very low required number of tournaments for King to have been ranked so high. She played very little. I know she won Wimbledon and if someone wants to give her #2 based solely on that, that's fine, but a computer ranking shouldn't have put her higher than #5.

Here were my top ten the week before the computer came out. It was disappointing to see the difference.

1 Evert 456
2 Goolagong 323
3 Navratilova 323
4 Wade 263
5 Court 234
6 King 200
7 Morozova 170
8 Fromholtz 97
9 Heldman 96
10 Barker 95
11 Sawamatsu 95
12 Durr 93
13 Melville 93
14 Newberry 92
15 Richey Gunter 85
16 Chmyreva 74
17 Boshoff 73
18 Casals 72
19 Stove 68
20 Doerner 63



Obviously Goolagong and Navratilova were neck and neck. Both Wade and Navratilova had far superior results outside of the Slams than Evonne did. Evonne was Evonne and that meant inconsistency.

The crazy rankings were odd. Richey Gunter and Melville Reid in the top ten are a joke if you ask me (though I loved both players). I have Gunter with 9 events that she won a match in and Reid with 5! King had 6. I do believe that I over ranked some of the lesser events that year (European clay tournaments especially and early summer US events). That boosted Fromholtz and Barker and others like Sawamatsu. I feel like that WTA rankings really helped established players who played WTT and who had some pretty weak results.

I know my 2015 rankings don't really matter, but I honestly think the early WTA rankings were not a true picture of who had played the best tennis.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2015, 05:11 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Evonne was definitely the 2nd best player in the world in 75, or 3rd best behind Evert and King (who didn't finish the year) IMO.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2015, 05:11 PM
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Re: Weeks At Number 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarokov-Elston View Post
Is there any hope to tweak the figures by beginning after the US Open of 1968 so that Virgina Wade briefly captures the #1 spot??
She wouldn't have had best results over a 12 month period even at that point. There is never a time she performed well enough over a 12 month period to be #1.
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