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This by Cnnsi's worthiem

The WTA Tour has postponed moving its headquarters to Saddlebrook for at least a year. Yes, it sounds suspicious to me, too. ... Just when you thought the WTA Tour's rankings couldn't get less intuitive: Lindsay Davenport, who failed to so much as reach a Grand Slam final this year, finishes the year with the top ranking.

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: n2sWmS ]</p>
 

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Oh here's another for you sages <br /> <br /> <br />11/07/2001 - Updated 03:11 PM ET <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Match Points

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Time for WTA to rank a true No. 1

By Stephen Borelli, USATODAY.com

<br />By Uwe Lein, AP <br />The women's ' No. 1? The rankings say so, but Lindsay Davenport doesn't even think she's deserving. <br /> <br /> <br />If Lindsay Davenport didn't feel as queasy as she looked before the media after withdrawing from the final of the WTA's Sanex Championships, then the women's tour should.

Davenport sewed up the season-ending No. 1 ranking with a win over Kim Clijsters plus a Jennifer Capriati loss in the same Sanex semifinals to Sandrine Testud. Then, after beating one of the women's tour's top players in Clijsters on Saturday, Davenport said her bruised knee would prevent her from playing the more imposing Serena Williams on Sunday.

Whether or not Davenport was indeed seriously injured is not the issue, though. Her withdrawal alone is a fittingly anticlimactic end to a second-straight season in which the year-end WTA rankings didn't produce an accurate No. 1 player.

Not only did Davenport not compete in its season-ending final, but she backed out of a match with a player — Williams — who had a good chance of beating her.

Consider some items on Davenport's resume during her year as "No. 1:"

No Grand Slam titles. <br />An 0-5 record against Venus and Serena Williams, arguably the best two women's players on tour when they decide to enter tournaments. <br />A 2 1/2-month layoff with a knee injury, during which she had no opportunities to gain rankings points. <br />"I'm not going to sit here and defend myself," Davenport says. "I can't do anything about it — I'll just take it."

Davenport isn't the one who should be reacting to this warped reality that has made her No. 1. She followed the system the way the WTA wants players to do so. Problem is, the system doesn't work in determining the year's best player anymore.

The true No. 1 is Venus Williams, who ripped through the Wimbledon and U.S. Open draws on her way to titles, trouncing the winner of the year's other two Grand Slams (Jennifer Capriati) during her title run in New York.

Venus and Capriati are the undisputed Nos. 1 and 2 this year based open their two crowns apiece on the greatest of stages. Yet, according to the WTA, they are Nos. 2 and 3.

Even Davenport disputes her No. 1 ranking.

"I didn't do well in the big tournaments this year, the Slams," says Davenport, a semifinalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, a quarterfinalist at the US Open and a withdrawal from the French Open with her knee injury.

Some of this inaccuracy in the rankings is due to Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which understandably sent a traveling terror through the women's tour that has devastated draws in Europe ever since. Before last week's Sanex Championships, Serena Williams hadn't played in an event since the Sept. 8 US Open women's final, in which she lost to sister Venus. Venus hasn't played at all on tour since then.

But last year also produced similarly distorted year-end rankings, atop which Martina Hingis finished without winning one Grand Slam title. Further weakening her case, Hingis hasn't scored a major title since January 1999 at the Australian Open.

It's time for the WTA Tour to reassess how it computes rankings. Currently, the rankings are a rolling, 52-week process during which a player's top 17 singles tournament results are used. Top results are determined by which events yield a player the most combined round points (based on how far a player goes in a tournament) and quality points (based on the quality of opponents a player beats).

A player can receive as many as 520 round points for winning a Grand Slam tournament and 200 quality points for beating the No. 1-ranked player at a Grand Slam tournament. The point totals decrease from there with lower-tier events and lesser performances and opponents. For example, a player gets 260 round points for winning a Tier 1 event (the next rung down from Grand Slams) such as the Ericsson Open in Miami and 100 quality points for beating the No. 1-ranked player there.

Therefore, the WTA's points system gives the players twice as much credit for succeeding at Grand Slams as at Tier 1 tournaments. This is accurate, because your average player weighs Grand Slams at least twice as heavily as any other tournament. Plus, winning a Grand Slam is at least twice as grueling as winning all other tournaments.

However, all of the players in the running for the No. 1 ranking each year plan their schedules based on gearing up for Grand Slam events. Often, they opt to take more breaks to rest up for the majors not only because the major tournaments are so demanding, but because the tour's schedule is.

The fear of burnout is high on the men's and women's tours, as both play an 11-month schedule, each week packed with at least one tournament or Davis or Fed Cup rounds, which some value higher than most tournaments even though they don't count toward the rankings.

Because of these patterns, the logical rankings solution would be to maintain or increase the level of importance of Grand Slam events upon the rankings and to decrease the number of tournaments upon which to base the rankings.

So, why not:

Count a player's top 12 events — down form 17 — over a 52-week period. An average of one tournament a month is enough to ask of players and it will assure they are at their best. <br />Make the Grand Slam events a required four of the 12 that count toward rankings. (In the current system, a player's points at a Grand Slam event aren't counted toward rankings if a player scores more points at 17 other tournaments.) Thus, a player will be penalized for a poor Grand Slam showing, even if she manages to finish high in all other events she plays. <br />The new systems would not hurt a player who, like Venus Williams, likes to stay fresh for the Grand Slams and excels at them. Yet, at the same time, players would have the option of entering more than 12 events, thus giving them a chance to beef up their point totals at their eight mandatory non-Grand Slam events.

These changes would make the race to the season-ending No. 1 much more like the men's tour's Champions Race. In it, the ATP gives a point total based upon performance at all events he plays. Simply, the player with the most rankings points at the end of the season earns the year-end No. 1. However, it is nearly impossible for a player to finish No. 1 if he doesn't fare well at Grand Slam tournaments because those tournaments are assessed such high point totals.

Meanwhile, as I write, the WTA has a panel of two doctors and a lawyer investigating whether or not the injury its top player, Venus Williams, cited in withdrawing from the Sanex Championships is legitimate or not.

And its No. 1-ranked player, Lindsay Davenport, is having to defend herself publicly for an injury that might be more legitimate.

<br /> <br /> <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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I am all for making certain tournaments count towards the ranking... all 4 GS's and at least half of the tier 1's.

In all honesty I don't care that much about injuries anymore... make a ranking system that will force players to handle their bodies more responsibly (e.g. not play stanford, san diego, la, new haven, us open with only 1 week's rest in the middle) and not play their bodies into broken wrecks. also make a ranking system that makes players play more than 1 or 2 surfaces by making other things mandatory. i used to hate it, but now i think the atp are really onto something with their ranking system.
 

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If the present system is used,I think reducing the number of tournaments just for the Williams wouldnt be right,as most players play atleast 18 tournaments a year on an average.<br />The average tennis player can play good tennis for about 19 tournaments a year.So I think that 17 is just right.<br />I would rarther perefer the following system :-<br />I would like to be the tour to be a Grand Slam tour.<br />Where your perfomances only in the Grand Slams count.Some preparatory tournaments can be considered as incentives. <br />So perhaps this sytem would work :-

Points RESERVED for the 4 Grand Slams :-<br />If you dont play them,you dont get the points

For the NON-GRAND SLAM tournaments :-<br />Best 3 Hard Court Results<br />Best 2 Clay Results<br />Best 3 Indoor/Grass Results

So this would give a fair picture.<br />I want the tour to be a "Grand Slam" tour,as they are basically the tournies which really count.<br />Almost all tennis viewers in the world watch only the grand slams.
 

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I wish they leave lindsay alone.She deserves it.she play by the rules on ranking.that all.lindsay hold your head up high.we love you. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
 

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Lindsay is nomber 1 nothing can be doen to change it!She does deserve it she won loads!
 

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Deftman:<br />I like your suggestions except for the discrimination against clay. I think all surfaces should be given equal weighting. I don't like the hard courts bias your proffer bec that would automatically favor some countries over others.
 

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Now, the reason Lindsay Davenport is ranked #1 is quite simple: Jennifer Capriati and Venus Williams may have won the matches most memorable to the public but, over the course of the year, her results were better than those of both Capriati and V Williams. (Try lining all the results of each player side by side for an easy comparison and it will become clear.)
 

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Thanks TC.<br />I gave a weightage to hardcourt as many more WTA tournaments are played on hard than Clay.<br />The season for clay is late-march,april and may,<br />while hard tounies are played in Jan(Australia),March(Indian Wells and Miami),july,August and September.<br />That's the reason I gave hard courts a slight weightage.<br />I agree it will be very unfair on European players who are bought up on clay,but unfortunately there are not many clay tournaments on the tour as there should be. <img src="frown.gif" border="0">
 

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Stephen Borelli's article is ridiculous.<br />Under his system, this would be the top 3:

1. Jennifer 4618 points<br />2. Venus 4128 p.<br />3. Lindsay 3981 p.

Jennifer is leading by far, so how can he call Venus 'the true no. 1' ??? Shouldn't his 'great' ranking reflect that ???

And even Lindsay would be ahead of Venus if she hadn't been injured at the French Open, so she can only have 11 tournaments count. Is that her fault ? I think that's not fair.<br />And if the players really played only 1 tournaments per month, well, than most tournaments would be really, really boring. I don't know if that is good ...
 

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all discussions are no sense.Lindsay is n.1,like or not.if Venus really wants to be n.1, she has to play more and more.<br />anyway i think tennis needs a number one who plays always and in all parts of world,a number one who represents and who brings tennis everywhere.tennis doesnt need a number one who plays only 4 months at year and in the rest of year is injured,or tired or bored!
 

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...yeah except that Lindsay didn't play play everywhere. She didn't play a single match on clay all year! So now what's the rationale for the tstatus quo?
 

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Look, the #1 is whoever it is.

At least Lindsay won the most number of tournaments, and she's competitive. I didn't mind Martina not winning a GS in 2000, because she won like 9 tournaments. She was the best player over the year, even if she didn't win GS titles. 2001 was far worse because players not even in the top five were hammering her on routine basis. There was a lot of arguement about who was the best player, but all but her most ardent fans accept it wasn't Martina. From a competitive standpoint, her year ended at OZ. (No, I don't really care about Dubai and Doha. The only top ten player she had to play at either was Tauziat.)
 

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There are only 10 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) points between Jenny and Lindsay left. I think they deserve both the # 1, each of them for her unique achievement. <br /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
 
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