I took a look at the WTA's website to see how Steffi and Arantxa performed in 1994, and their records seemed relatively comparable. It just dawned on me that bonus points were part of that era, so perhaps Steffi got a boost by drawing some higher-ranked players (overall) that year... although with Steffi being #1, Arantxa got more bonus points in her 3 wins over Steffi than Steffi got in her 3 wins over Arantxa!
Anyway, the computer doesn't play favorites or change its criteria mid-year, so it spat out what it spat out. Thank God for that; can you imagine if tennis somehow had figure skating judges to determine rankings? Some tennis fans might start riots
I don;t disagree at all that their 94 seasons had little separation, but I do think that Arantxa's slam season was the difference maker. Ultimately, though, you're right that the computer is what decides the rankings. Although it almost felt a bit misplaced that Arantxa took over #1 in 95, for once Steffi got going, it became clear that 95 was her year.
Rollo---I agree totally that 94 unfairly gets the rep as a terrible year. Yes, the tour was missing Seles, and Capriati was off, but it was like the press decided that two players gone made the tour go from deeper than ever to shallower than ever. Doom and gloom sells, though.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Always #1