Tennis Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Personally, I think it's more important to have a higher floor (how players grind and fight mentally even when their game is off) in tennis than a higher ceiling (peak serve, shotmaking etc, they're just on fire). It's impossible for these players to play their best every match so they just have to try and get their level to be higher than their opponent's. Here's probably how I'd rank them right now (this was really tough):

Ceiling:

1. Serena (even at 38, peak Serena is pretty much unbeatable on serve and her returning is still killer :worship:)
2. Osaka (when Naomi decides to show up, she's invincible)
3. Pliskova
4. Kvitova
5. Andreescu (I would rank her higher if she could put together complete dominant matches, oftentimes she looks unstoppable then she just disappears for a full set :shrug:).
6. Halep (3 UEs in Wimbledon final!! Although Serena was pretty trash there...)
7. Bencic (her tennis IQ is amazing even though she's not as physically gifted as some other players here)
8. Barty (her serve can be devastating but I think her inconsistent two-handed backhand holds her back, I also think she really overachieved this year)
9. Bertens
10. Svitolina (will never be an aggressor like the players with high ceilings)

(Healthy) Floor:

1. Andreescu (she can play terribly during matches, but she always makes them close overall or even grinds out a win. We've never really seen her get completely outclassed on a court, even when she's not 100%)
2. Barty (most consistent player in WTA especially when considering health, although she's suffered a couple of bad losses even when fully healthy).
3. Svitolina (her grinding game style helps her be super consistent)
4. Halep (when she's healthy enough to run around as much as she loves, her floor is very high)
5. Pliskova (can use her serve to grind out tough matches)
6. Bencic (even though her mentality can get poor, she's always able to bring out a pretty consistent level)
7. Kvitova (UE queen when she's off)
8. Bertens (In this era, no top 10 player should lose to a 15 year old...although she may not have been fully healthy :shrug:)
9. Naomi (can beat anyone, but also lose to anyone when she's not there mentally which is unfortunately pretty often.)
10. Serena (I mean just look at Wimbledon/US Open finals last two years :crying:, still hoping she can get through that mental block)

My rankings are probably not great (please don't roast me I'm still pretty new to liking tennis :SNE:) but I'm interested in everyone's rankings!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112,690 Posts
Serena is 38. Not sure what her floor is going to be in 2020. I think it will be fascinating to see how well she does in 2020 and then 2021 at 39
She played really well in NY until the final. That was her best tennis since she came back. Her ceiling is still very high when its not a slam final

The ATP tour, you know what is going to happen. Nadal and Djokovic win every major
In WTA its constantly shifting. We were talking about Muguruza and Kerber, about Halep and Wozniacki, about Osaka, Barty and Andreescu.
I expect another shift coming. I think Osaka has the highest peak of those players. Andreescu the best floor, where she can win on a bad day

There isnt much consistency on the WTA tour and that means the floor for most players is losing to anyone. Most of them have similar floors, very beatable. Peaks, everyone knows. Serena, Osaka, Kvitova, then a drop off
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
I agree with most of OP's ranking but Kvitova's ceiling is 2nd only to Serena imo. After her is Osaka and then Andreescu, not Pliskova. Some players' gamestyle sometimes makes the ceiling look higher than it is. Go watch Andreescu's destruction of Muguruza at IW QF (6-0, 6-1). It still somehow felt she wasn't "doing that much" considering the score. Hopefully, she works on her mental walkabouts. She could have beaten Serena at the US Open 6-3, 6-1.

Andreescu with the highest floor is right on point. People forget most of the matches she lost till match point this year were close 3-setters that she might have won.

And bar injuries, that's why I think she wins more slams than her contemporaries. You can't always be in form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Serena is 38. Not sure what her floor is going to be in 2020. I think it will be fascinating to see how well she does in 2020 and then 2021 at 39
She played really well in NY until the final. That was her best tennis since she came back. Her ceiling is still very high when its not a slam final

The ATP tour, you know what is going to happen. Nadal and Djokovic win every major
In WTA its constantly shifting. We were talking about Muguruza and Kerber, about Halep and Wozniacki, about Osaka, Barty and Andreescu.
I expect another shift coming. I think Osaka has the highest peak of those players. Andreescu the best floor, where she can win on a bad day

There isnt much consistency on the WTA tour and that means the floor for most players is losing to anyone. Most of them have similar floors, very beatable. Peaks, everyone knows. Serena, Osaka, Kvitova, then a drop off
I agree with most of OP's ranking but Kvitova's ceiling is 2nd only to Serena imo. After her is Osaka and then Andreescu, not Pliskova. Some players' gamestyle sometimes makes the ceiling look higher than it is. Go watch Andreescu's destruction of Muguruza at IW QF (6-0, 6-1). It still somehow felt she wasn't "doing that much" considering the score. Hopefully, she works on her mental walkabouts. She could have beaten Serena at the US Open 6-3, 6-1.

Andreescu with the highest floor is right on point. People forget most of the matches she lost till match point this year were close 3-setters that she might have won.

And bar injuries, that's why I think she wins more slams than her contemporaries. You can't always be in form.
Yeah, I definitely should have Kvitova top 3 in ceilings. Recency bias got to me as we really haven't seen her peak since earlier in the year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,820 Posts
Agree that this is a refreshing way to look at things - a lot of fans only focus on a player's PEAK level, even if that only comes out a few times per year. "Floor" is harder to define because presumably we're not talking about the absolute worst a player can play - you know, that absolute stinker of a match that anyone can throw in for no reason - but maybe their low-to-average level? I've always thought the most important level to judge a player on is their average, not their peak. And how far their average is from their peak - in Serena's prime, for example, her average was extremely close to her peak - but someone like Keys' average is far, far below her peak.

Anyway I agree with a lot of the OP's analysis except:

- Pliskova's ceiling isn't as high as people think. Yeah, she's a power player with weapons, but she plays extremely conservatively and with very textbook patterns within that. She plays at pretty much the same level every time, even more so than someone like Svitolina. In almost all of her losses, it's the fact that she doesn't have an extra gear that's exposed, even against out-of-form players like Ostapenko who have much more intensity or lower-ranked players like Muchova who have more dimensions to their game.
- Svitolina's ceiling is higher than people think, despite the fact that she's maybe the least gifted player in the top 10. At every stage of her career so far I've thought her ceiling has been rather limited and each time she's proved me wrong. This isn't because of her natural talent but her hard work - she's added more and more to her game over the years, as much as she physically can, and she's still doing it. This isn't just about the shots she's able to hit but intangibles like mental resilience, shot selection and strategy.
- Serena definitely doesn't have the lowest "floor", even despite her GS final freezes. She's far, far from her peak but even without movement and match fitness she's still making those finals in the first place. I also don't think she'd have lost to just anyone in her three most recent finals - Osaka, Halep and Andreescu all pretty much peaked, as well as getting off to an essential good start. If Serena had got Svitolina in the USO F, I think the result would have been similar to their SF.

Ceilings -

1. Serena
2. Kvitova
3. Andreescu
4. Osaka
5. Bencic
6. Bertens (God knows I got sick of her in the Asian swing but she was truly devastating in the clay swing at times)
7. Halep
8. Barty (I actually really like her game and I'm a fan, but I felt her 2019 arc was more about pushing her average level way up)
9. Svitolina
10. Pliskova

"Floors" -

1. Andreescu (with the caveat that she's played so little and hasn't been tested as "the hunted" yet; I feel like if she'd played a full season she wouldn't have the insane W/L record that she does)
2. Pliskova (almost never has really bad losses - the flipside to her lack of an extra gear always getting exposed is that it usually takes a player who has that extra gear to beat her)
3. Barty (would have been top but I remembered a handful of absolute stinkers where none of her go-tos were working at all)
4. Serena
5. Osaka (if you actually look at her record this year, it's been way more affected by minor injuries than anything else - and she has a few real matchup issues where the result was less about her playing badly for no reason and more her game not being versatile enough yet)
6. Svitolina (the thing with grinders is that when they're playing badly it doesn't show up on the stat sheet so much, because it's more about poor shot selection within rallies than whether they're making Ws or UEs)
7. Bertens (she's a weird one, she played at a very low level for the last quarter of the year but still won a ton of matches, but it really felt like she wasn't far off going on a proper losing streak)
8. Bencic (so many losses down to mental implosion, and when she doesn't have her head Bencic isn't a threat)
9. Halep (the gulf between her best level and her worst is absolutely massive, way bigger than it should be for a counterpuncher, and it's increased this year)
10. Kvitova (pretty much defines this IMO)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Ceilings
1. Serena - when she peaks she is just unplayable
2. Naomi - depends on when she decides to showup. But it happens in patches. So i hope she brings it regularly. But when she is on, she can beat anyone. Her improved movement and underrated counter punching skills sometimes r just too good. And i loved how she handled andreescu's variety and barty's slices.
3. Kvitova- i wouldve rated her 2 before but after her matches against naomi, i realized if someone matches her power but also moves better than her, she becomes vulnerable. Still one of highest peak
4. Andreescu - things she can do with the ball somrtimes is just out of this world sometime
5. Halep
6. Barty
7. Pliskova
8. Svitolina
9. Bencic
10. Bertens

Floor
1. Barty - she might not have the highest peak but her consistency level is so good
2. Andreescu- good level to fight
3.halep - no more underachiever or anything. Now showup in slam finals too
4. Serena - wouldve ranked her number one few years back, but losing 6 of the last 8 slam finals which ofcourse is due to her age is a factor here
5. Naomi - such a high peak but sometimes her lows are too low. There were some bad matchups but her serve, game completely deserted her. Her backhand went away for like 6 or 7 months. But in asian swing it was on fire. So i hope she keeps it up in next season. That clay match against becic where she had 2 breaks up and mps , but still lost really affected her mental game. But it also shows she is capable of beating even her bad matchups.
6. Kvitova - if her peak is great, her lowest of lows can be terrible. First half of season was good but second half wasnt
7. Bencic
8. Svitolina
9. Pliskova
10. Bertens
Last 4 i kept low bcoz of no slam so far which ofc can be changed in future.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,875 Posts
Ceiling:

1. Serena
2. Osaka
3. Kvitova
4. Andreescu
5. Bertens
6. Pliskova
7. Barty
8. Halep
9. Bencic
10. Svitolina

Very close between Osaka and Kvitova to me, as well as between Bencic and Svitolina.

Floor:

1. Halep
2. Svitolina
3. Barty
4. Andreescu
5. Serena
6. Bencic
7. Bertens
8. Pliskova
9. Osaka
10. Kvitova

Let's not underrate Serena's floor. I suspect she's been winning more than often matches with her floor than her ceiling in the last years. When she fails big in some matches, is for desperately trying to reach her ceiling when her opponent is reaching her own (Wimbledon final for instance - let's not neglect Serena would have not lost to anybody in that final: it needed Halep's peak to keep her from finding a better floor - yes there are several floors since Serena's ceiling is a the top of the WTA building :eek:h:). Players who seem to have a poor floor are the last three or four of my list. Kiki Bertens plays very poor when she doesn't have it in the legs. Halep and Svitolina are certainly the players able to stay more than decent when they don't peak. Hell, I even think that's what Svitolina did this year: only played decent for most part of the year and still ended #6 in the world. She has yet to deliver the best of her game. :)

edit: I may disagree with my placement of Pliskova's floor. Could be better than Bertens or even Bencic. Karo can play fine without a serve and even with poor footwork. She's quite UE prone at times, though (three shots and bye).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
Most of the 'best' players these days can beat anyone, but also lose to anyone.
That's why watching any Naomi/Petra match as a fan can make you super anxious because you never know which version of themselves is going to show up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,305 Posts
Ceiling

1. Serena
2. Kvitova
3. Osaka
4. Halep
5. Andreescu
6. Barty
7. Bencic
8. Pliskova
9. Bertens
10. Svitolina

I'm ranking Petra higher than Osaka because Petra's peak can appear on any surface so far whereas Naomi seems more restricted on HC. But if its peak Naomi and peak Petra on HC I think Naomi's is better. To give an example: Petra's showed her best level at Madrid (clay), Wimbledon (grass), YEC (indoor hard), Wuhan (hard).

Floor:

1. Barty
2. Svitolina
3. Andreescu
4. Halep
5. Bencic
6. Pliskova
7. Bertens
8. Osaka
9. Serena
10. Kvitova

I'm sorry as much as I love her there is NO ONE who is worse than Petra on her absolute off day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37,337 Posts
Serious and aggressive.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top