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Best Player Never to Reach World Number 1 ?

  • Dementieva

    Votes: 11 7.5%
  • Conchita Martínez

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • Kuznetsova

    Votes: 7 4.8%
  • Kvitova

    Votes: 49 33.6%
  • Mandlíkova

    Votes: 44 30.1%
  • Novotna

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • Pierce

    Votes: 15 10.3%
  • Sabatini

    Votes: 17 11.6%
  • Suková

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wade

    Votes: 1 0.7%

  • Total voters
    146
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1. Hana Mandliková
2. Virginia Wade
3. Billie Jean King (1975 rankings)
4. Conchita Martinez
5. Petra Kvitová
6. Gabriela Sabatini
7. Vera Zvonarëva (only because of competition vs slamless number 1)
8. Jana Novotná
9. Helena Suková
10. Pam Shriver
11. Li Na
 

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There's a few good names in that list but Stephens strikes me as strange. She did not even reach no.2.
 

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Mandlikova easily. Kvitova after that simply because she should have been number 1 in 2011, but it was La Borz and a Copenhagen title that beat her 🤷‍♂️

A case could be made for Li, Pierce, Novotna and Kuznetsova, except they never felt like the most dominant players at any given moment.
Yes I forgot Kvitova
 

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Some very good players on that list. Some were one win away and didnt get that win
Kvitova, Kuznetsova, Li Na, Dementieva, Zvonareva, Pierce, Pliskova, Radwanska
Some of those were wildly inconsistent, but all had the game to get there
 

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From a 2017 interview with Hana Mandlikova:

You held titles from Melbourne and Paris in the 1980s, advanced to the Wimbledon finals ... And yet you weren't No. 1.
After Wimbledon, they were just changing the order system. I asked how it was possible, and that's how they explained it to me.

Looking back, does it still bother you?
I would be lying if I said I wasn't sorry. Grand Slams have always been the most important to me. I thought I would be No. 1 if I win a Grand Slam. It did not work out.

Did the WTA apologize to you?
Yeah. The then WTA boss Peachy Kellmeyer said there was nothing she could do. That they were sorry. They had just reduced points awarded for grand slams. But let's forget about it, it doesn't matter.
 

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From a 2017 interview with Hana Mandlikova:

You held titles from Melbourne and Paris in the 1980s, advanced to the Wimbledon finals ... And yet you weren't No. 1.
After Wimbledon, they were just changing the order system. I asked how it was possible, and that's how they explained it to me.
An original 1981 article about the ranking controversy was posted here:
 

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An original 1981 article about the ranking controversy was posted here:
Very interesting!
I enjoyed both the article and the individual posts in the thread you started, which provided lots of further insight.
 

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I feel like I've seen this before...

Edit: Yep.

h

the first link is to this thread, the second links dates to 2006, I'd imagine hundreds of thousands of posters since then have left and hundreds of thousands have since have joined so not sure the point of your post tbh lol.
 

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h

the first link is to this thread, the second links dates to 2006, I'd imagine hundreds of thousands of posters since then have left and hundreds of thousands have since have joined so not sure the point of your post tbh lol.
Well, after I posted that, the older thread got merged with the current one.
 

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I see the case for Mandlikova considering her slam history, but i would compare her to Wawrinka. She was unlucky with whom she had as a competition during those years, but it's difficult to make the case for her being the #1 in a given year.

Different for Kvitova who was 2011 POTY and competed against arguably one of the least accomplished #1s.

Sooo... my vote is Mandlikova, it does feel like Kvitova has had a softer competition and is mostly her fault for not making it to #1 yet.
 

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Dementieva and Svitolina.
 

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Definitely Hana Mandlikova. If you read the other thread that’s listed here many people thought she should have threatened Evert for number 1 after taking the 1981 French and making the Wimbledon finals. She had just made 4 consecutive slam finals in a row and won two of them. She had beaten clay queen Chris in straights to take the French and gave grass queen Martina her last Wimbledon loss until 7 years later in 1988. Sure she played too many tournaments and had way too many bad losses, but if 4 straight slam finals with two wins doesn’t get a player to number one right now, I’d be shocked.

Otherwise I would say Sabatini was a shame in 1991 after playing so well all year, beating Steffi quite a few times, Monica on her beloved red clay and then she loses one single match that would have given her the number one ranking in the Seles/Graf era. Just a shame.

Also a terrible bummer that Novotná got so close as well and just couldn’t pull the trigger in that ‘98 USO semi.

Kvitova in 2011 really should have taken the top spot.

I’d love to say Virginia Wade deserved it at some point as well, but that would be based more on her obvious talent than super consistent results, but given her opposition it’s easy to understand. She was never closer than 1975, but without a slam final it’s hard to take too seriously.
 

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I should have added Myskina to my list. She was ITF Player of the Year in 2004 and was playing in an International in Poland the week before the Olympics. If she wins this and she was heavy favorite, she is #1 for the Olympics week 1
But after she won her QF there were 2 days of rain and she had to withdraw with an injury and leave for Athens, where she led Henin 51 in the 3rd in the Olympic semifinals and lost 76 57 86
Tough week for Anastasia
 
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Mandlikova followed by Novotona. No doubt in my mind. Look at her stats in the slams, as well as her overall record before retiring. I think most will agree/
I agree. The under 45s on tennis forum probably never saw Hana play and can only look at results. 4 slams and 8 finals (losing the other 4 finals to either Evert or Navratilova having beaten the other in 3 of those tournaments to reach the final puts her head and shoulders above the other names). None of the others in this list come remotely close to that. e.g. Sabatini had chances to be number 1 but lost 15 of her 18 slam semi-final matches. Kuznetsova lost 16 of her 21 quarter-finals. Martinez made only 3 finals from 12 semi finals and horrific head-to-heads with Seles and Graf. Of the other names in this list how many of them made even 5 finals ? Only one I can think of is Pierce , although 3 of those were from very fortunate draws which ended up in being heavily thrashed in the finals.

I'd pick Novotna 2nd and Kvitova 3rd . Sukova would be the best player not to win a slam but she's not a contender for this one, Dementieva even less so.
 

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There's a few good names in that list but Stephens strikes me as strange. She did not even reach no.2.
Sabatini too..but she was one point away from No 1.
 
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