Tennis Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is the ranking system appropriate?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Howard Fendrich
Associated Press


Maybe it's time for the WTA Tour to consider a new ranking system, one that rewards pure excellence over pure consistency.



By any standard, Kim Clijsters is a fantastic tennis player, among the best in the world. But is she really No. 1? No way.

Until Monday, that distinction rightly belonged to Serena Williams, who earned it by winning five of the past six Grand Slam titles. Clijsters never has won a major championship -- the first top-ranked player with that lacuna on her record.

The trouble is, the complicated formula used by the WTA Tour bases rankings on the preceding 12 months, assigning points for how a player fares at her best 17 tournaments in that span.

So Clijsters was able to supplant Williams at No. 1 Monday, the 12th woman to hold that spot since computer rankings began in 1975.

The change is largely due to this: Clijsters has played in 22 tournaments over the past 52 weeks, while Williams has played in 11. The Belgian gets points from 17 events in that span (with a tour-high nine titles), while Williams must make do with points from 11 events (and seven titles).

Jeff Sagarin, whose college football rankings for USA Today are part of the Bowl Championship Series formula, thinks one of the problems with tennis rankings is they don't account for margins of victory. And, he points out, "they go by volume.''

Sagarin developed a system for grading tennis in the 1970s, though he hasn't applied it to the current women's game.

"It seems that Serena Williams wins every time. My hunch is that my system would have her No. 1,'' Sagarin said. "And it's not like she's playing kids in elementary school. She's beating the best at the top tournaments.''

Williams owns an 8-1 career edge over Clijsters. How has Clijsters fared against other top players, one measure of greatness? She's 2-5 against Venus Williams, and has lost three of her past four matches against No. 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Not one player in the top 20 has a winning record against Serena.

It's also telling that apologists for the current ranking system use one word over and over: "consistent.''

"The ranking is a balance between the results and the major events, and rewards consistent performance over a long season from January to November,'' WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott said in a recent telephone interview. "Kim, while she has not won some of the majors, has been a consistent performer, won a lot of tournaments and played a lot of events.''

And here's what Martina Navratilova -- whose 331 weeks at No. 1 are second to Steffi Graf's 377 -- said about Clijsters: "She is very consistent and has won a whole bunch of tournaments, so she's earned it.''

Indeed, Clijsters reached the semifinals at all 14 tournaments she's played in 2003, collecting a tour-leading six titles.

But sports is supposed to be about the spectacular, and athletes are celebrated for transcending what are thought to be the bounds of their games. That's one of the reasons we're fixated with statistics and records.

And in individual events such as tennis and golf, it's the major championships that define greatness.

Actually, it might be time for tennis to take its cue from golf, where the player who clearly is the best, Tiger Woods, is entrenched at No. 1.

There are two big differences between the sports' rating systems, two elements that tennis might want to look into:


golf compares players' results over two years;


golf takes a point total and divides it by the number of tournaments (with a minimum of 40) for an average score.

That way, players don't lose as much ground when sidelined by injury (Serena hasn't played since Wimbledon and had left knee surgery Aug. 1).

By no means is Clijsters' rise to No. 1 the oddest in tennis history. That distinction probably belongs to Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who moved atop the men's rankings in May 1999 on the heels of six straight first-round losses.

Clijsters figures she deserves her new standing. There is something to be said, after all, for competing with the best, week in, week out, and faring well -- if not overwhelmingly.

Asked last week about her probable ascension, Clijsters pointed out the reason for her success.

"I've played about three times as many tournaments as Serena. It's not that if you win one tournament, you have to be No. 1,'' Clijsters said, then paused before adding: "It's about consistency.''

And that's precisely the problem.



I think this was a good article. It gives veiws from people outside of tennis. Its interesting that to me, it seems when i explain the ranking system to people that have no clue about the tennis rankings they seem to continue to disagree about the "consistency" factor. I still believe its one thing to be "consistent" but are you winning or loosing? And that is comparing the slams and tournies played combined. When it comes to Kim, she isn't doing this.

I think people need to jump back a couple years, when they realized how important the slams are to this sport. That Slams honestly are all this sport is about. Who won Aussie? French? Wimbledon? US Open? Think about it people, a lot more people outside of tennis, that have nothing to do really about tennis, but just know a little, know the 4 slams. So they more so wonder who won "this particular slam" than who is the 2003 Rogers AT&T Champion. Kim yes has been consistent, she has gotten to semis-finals in 14 tournies played this year. Serena has only played 7, but has done the same thing. What I don't understand is why people assume bull shit? Last year everyone was saying that Serena became number 1 b/c she played more. Did you all not see and realize serena has played more matches this time last year? I honestly think people just keep trying to find reasons to put the williams' down. If its not one things its another. I don't know how you can say, they are playing more this year, and b/c you have a player this year playing more than half the amount they are playing, and consistently getting to the semis and finals, and right now loosing more than she is winning, people change their opinions right over, to Serena doesn't play enough. When again, she is playing more than what she did last year. It kills me how people go back and forth from their opinions and views. But tennis is not about "consistency". Its about Greatness. What kim has done is far from Great in my opinion. All the former number 1's have done this, and hella more. Serena consistently is getting to semis and finals. but she is winning the slams, and beating the top players. We know kim is the first number 1 w/out a slam. But is she also the first to become number 1, with also having loosing records against number 2 3 and 4 on her way to number 1?

Again people, you can be consistent. But are you consistently beating the top players? As in tip-top. If you are number 1, you should be beating the top. If people don't like the kim bashing, then all in all you need to wake up and smell the coffee that its not even fare to try and call someone number 1 that is 1 not accomplishing what number 1's should, and 2 is not even beating the top. yeah she is beating 5-10. but what happen to players 2-3-4? Aren't these the top players? Why does she have a loosing record againt them right now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,377 Posts
Please, stop with this stupid threats about the rankings. I think Kim really deserved that #1 ranking, but I know what you mean with Serena. I know that she is the #1 if you look at her results especially in the Grand Slams. But Kim played great this year and was very constistent so she deserved that #1 ranking.

Please the rankings are what they are, and the're good. So stop with this threats! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whatzup said:
Please, stop with this stupid threats about the rankings. I think Kim really deserved that #1 ranking, but I know what you mean with Serena. I know that she is the #1 if you look at her results especially in the Grand Slams. But Kim played great this year and was very constistent so she deserved that #1 ranking.

Please the rankings are what they are, and the're good. So stop with this threats! :D

it seems to be the talk of the day. they are talking about a new ranking system on every site right now.

everyone but i think the "hardcore" tennis fans, see the major flaw in the rankings. i honestly think they need to be changed. tennis is the only sport that looks at consistency over actual winnings.


has serena been practicing?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Well, the ranking system works for EVERYONE! Kim has EARNED her ranking just as ALL of the other players have! If the other players were as consistent as Kim, then they would be there. When will this end? Oh, I know, once Kim wins the U.S. Open, right? It should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,880 Posts
Whatzup said:
Please, stop with this stupid threats about the rankings. Please the rankings are what they are, and the're good. So stop with this threats! :D
amen to that!!! :worship:
SerenaSlam, please get a new song to sing...
do you have anything other than this topic to share? :confused:

edit: and I thought you weren't coming back until Serena was playing again? :scratch:
 

·
Team WTAworld, Senior Member
Joined
·
36,726 Posts
SerenaSlam said:
tennis is the only sport that looks at consistency over actual winnings.
You have to be kidding me :eek: Do you think Michael Schumacher can become worldchampion if he didn't do well in ALL races?
Do you think Real Madrid can become champion in Spain by only winning the topmatches???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,951 Posts
"I've played about three times as many tournaments as Serena."

Which is why she's "ranked" number one


" It's not that if you win one tournament, you have to be No. 1,'' Clijsters said, then paused before adding: "It's about consistency.''
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,951 Posts
Serena isn't my favorite player, but I do think the rankings system should reflect who is the best player.
 

·
Team WTAworld, Senior Member
Joined
·
36,726 Posts
DA FOREHAND said:
Serena isn't my favorite player, but I do think the rankings system should reflect who is the best player.
they try to do that as good as possible.. I think all players before Kim at #1 were considered as the best players at that time isn't it?

If Serena only plays 9 -11 events a year and the ranking is based on 17 events (a normal average number of tournaments) then you really can't expect Serena to be number one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
per4ever said:
they try to do that as good as possible.. I think all players before Kim at #1 were considered as the best players at that time isn't it?

If Serena only plays 9 -11 events a year and the ranking is based on 17 events (a normal average number of tournaments) then you really can't expect Serena to be number one.
last year serena was "deserving" b/c she played more. this yaer, so far she has played more than last yaer, but still isn't deserving.

this is why personally to me, all yall's opinions and views are fucked up. one year you say this, the next year its tooken back like nothing was said :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47,657 Posts
SerenaSlam said:
last year serena was "deserving" b/c she played more. this yaer, so far she has played more than last yaer, but still isn't deserving.

this is why personally to me, all yall's opinions and views are fucked up. one year you say this, the next year its tooken back like nothing was said :rolleyes:
Word! How can that this year that she was on pace to play even more than last year and was winning at perhaps an even greater rate, Serena isn´t deserving?1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,065 Posts
The ranking system is designed to illustrate the best player throughout the year. The one that gets the best overall results across the year in a minimum of 17 tournaments.

If some players do not play seventeen tournaments, then that is up to them. They have the kudos for the tournaments they DO win.

Serena may be dominant at a limited number of tournaments, but if she cannot reflect that dominance throughout the year, then she may not have done enough to earn the No 1 ranking.

Is this fair? Yes. Serena's good form in the Grand Slams may be a factor of the fact that she chooses to concentrate on a small number of events. Either her health, her motivation, or the pace and intensity at which she plays, may not be sustainable over a full seventeen tournaments.

It's a matter of strategy. If Serena played with less intensity, she might be able to manage a full roster of tournaments. However, playing more matches with lower intensity or focus, might mean that she LOSES more matches - and still wouldn't be No 1.

The comparison with a football team is valid. A football team could not play only half a season's matches and then expect to be named the top team.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Doc said:
The ranking system is designed to illustrate the best player throughout the year. The one that gets the best overall results across the year in a minimum of 17 tournaments.

If some players do not play seventeen tournaments, then that is up to them. They have the kudos for the tournaments they DO win.

Serena may be dominant at a limited number of tournaments, but if she cannot reflect that dominance throughout the year, then she may not have done enough to earn the No 1 ranking.

Is this fair? Yes. Serena's good form in the Grand Slams may be a factor of the fact that she chooses to concentrate on a small number of events. Either her health, her motivation, or the pace and intensity at which she plays, may not be sustainable over a full seventeen tournaments.

It's a matter of strategy. If Serena played with less intensity, she might be able to manage a full roster of tournaments. However, playing more matches with lower intensity or focus, might mean that she LOSES more matches - and still wouldn't be No 1.

The comparison with a football team is valid. A football team could not play only half a season's matches and then expect to be named the top team.
"she looses more matches" youre saying this of Serena. Well look at kim, she is doing what you are saying and she is "loosing" more matches. but its still considered great. so how come when serena tries to do it, and she "looses" more matches, people question her athletic ability etc?

you all come up with these things, but all in all they sound ignorant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47,657 Posts
SerenaSlam said:
"she looses more matches" youre saying this of Serena. Well look at kim, she is doing what you are saying and she is "loosing" more matches. but its still considered great. so how come when serena tries to do it, and she "looses" more matches, people question her athletic ability etc?

you all come up with these things, but all in all they sound ignorant.
Man, you´re good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
SerenaSlam, this issue is utterly fascinating and continually yields diverse and refreshing opinions expressed in an articulate manner. Please come up with more and more threads on the subject, they make GM a joy to enter each and every day. If the rankings debate threads were taken away, what would be left to say on here anymore?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hendouble said:
SerenaSlam, this issue is utterly fascinating and continually yields diverse and refreshing opinions expressed in an articulate manner. Please come up with more and more threads on the subject, they make GM a joy to enter each and every day. If the rankings debate threads were taken away, what would be left to say on here anymore?
here is one for you, if venus and serena were gone, what would be left to talk about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Or alternatively, competitive women's tennis? Come to think of it, you'd have to get rid of the entire Top 7 or 8 for that to happen. Yep, start the rankings from the present no. 9 onwards, and we'd have a much more interesting tour.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top