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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What is the optimal total titles to grand slam ratio?

Is having 20 titles and only 1 grand slam underachieving?
Is having only 5 titles and 2 grand slams overachieving?

Secondarily, what happens when you throw Category 5 / Tier I / PM+5 / 1000 into the mix?

These are some common questions I hear and I have had myself.
Also, this thread is borne out of common points that are made:
  • Serena played too few tournaments and overfocuses on slams
  • Kerber has 0 Tier I Titles
  • Graf did it all equally and fairly
  • Osaka is now just focusing too much on slams
  • etc.

What do you ya'll think? Below are some ratios for some players including all recent GOATS, former #1s, multi-slam champs, and YEC/Olympics winners. The list is sorted by Total WTA titles. I inputted the tally values manually and did this casually so there may be errors. Let me know.


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What this chart means?

Total WTA Titles:Slam Titles (F)
The first ratio column can be interpreted as Doing More for the Tour vs. Slam Expediency
It can be also interpreted as "for every slam title that player won, they won X number of titles"
The bigger the number, the more you have done for the WTA tour, winning a lot of tournaments. The lower the number, the more expedient or focused you were on slams. As we can see, players like Davenport, Conchita, Wozniacki, and Sabatini are known for having rather low slam counts compared to their total titles.

Total WTA Titles:Tier I Titles (G)
The second ratio column is perhaps a little less clear but it can be interpreted as Focusing on Big WTA Tour Wins vs. Small Tour Wins+Slams+YEC
Players who have a smaller number here won a fair share of WTA Tier I Level tournaments, whereas those who have higher numbers will have a higher total count from winning smaller tournaments and perhaps even the biggest tournaments. In other words, player with who have an average score focused an event amount on some big money tournaments as compared to Small Tour Wins+Slams+YEC collectively.

Total WTA Titles:Olympics+YEC (H)
The third ratio column can be interpreted essentially at how good players were winning at the rare select tournaments versus the overall rest of their contributions to the tour. Those who have very high numbers here were not so great at winning these tournaments versus those who have low numbers maybe over-focused on these tournaments.

Tier I:Slams (I)
This fourth ratio column basically means "for every slam title that player won, they won X number of Tier I titles"
It can also mean focusing on the Tour in a Big Way at the expense of winning slams (high number) vs did not put in enough career effort in the big wta tournaments (low number)

Average Deviation Totals for F-H (J)
This column is some sort of wacky-jacky statistic I made up. (I tried some other stats but found them a little harder to explain for my non-stats brain). This is meant to show how much each player "differs" from the average, "standardized" to each of the first 3 columns and then added together. The stat imo may also be hurt a little bit by the inclusion of the G column.

Small Tournaments:Tier I (K)
This column simply shows how many small tournaments a player wins compared for every Tier I tournament they win.

At the bottom is the average for ea column and below that is standard deviation value for ea column.

What I've learned?
Olympics+YEC is a great, straightforward disqualifier for GOAT adajcency
While a lot of "random", non-slam champs have won YEC/Olympics, there's more non-YEC/Olympics winners than non-Slam Champs (and this list also doesn't include single slam champs who haven't won YEC/Olympics). There's no true high-level legend in recent years who hasn't won one of these titles.

Ratios further highlight that Slams really are a great determinant of greatness.
Even though players like Davenport, and to a lesser degree Wozniacki, and Conchita have a rather high amount of titles, they are almost never compared to their title count neighbors when determining greatness (as from the usual discussions of greatness on this board). For example, Wozniacki and Conchita tend to be compared to Capriati, Ivanovic, Muguruza, and Kerber rather than Arantxa or Sharapova. Slamless and no #1s Dementieva, Radwanska, and Svitolina can really co-mingle with other "legends" in other categories; the lack of slam really hurts their legacy in the fans eyes though.

Back to the original questions
What is the optimal title to grand slam ratio? Well "optimal" will depend on interpreter, but we can certainly see Clijsters as the best exemplar of the average, ratio-wise. She had a solid career earning a good amount in all four of slams, titles, tier I, and YEC/Olympics, but not overemphasizing anything relative to other players. Interestingly, Clijsters is seen as one of the most congenial!

Additionally, while Serena has certainly focused more on Slams compared to other high titles winners and most importantly Graf, Graf isn't vastly better and is worse than the average.

We discovered in another thread that Osaka has played quite a bit of tournaments in the past. But for actual tournament wins, what usually gets most counted in legacy, Osaka currently has the most slam-focused to other title ratio. She is still young so this can change.

Two of our slamless #1s (Safina, Jankovic) were pretty good at winning Tier I titles unlike the other slamless #1 Pliskova, though Pliskova can still change that narrative.

Perhaps Kerber is still playing so she can fix the glare of having 0 Tier I titles.


Final Thoughts
If you have suggestions / ideas please let me know!
Also, if someone can find a list of all players who have earned 10/15? or more titles, I will be happy to consider adding some of them to this list!
 

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Also not to debunk this entire thread but I know for a fact there were plenty of tier 2 that were much harder to win than a tier 1
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Also not to debunk this entire thread but I know for a fact there were plenty of tier 2 that were much harder to win than a tier 1
Also not to debunk Slams, but there were plenty of Tier 1 that were much harder to win than Slams. Too lazy to count now but I would bet in the last 5-6 years the average number of TOP10 you have to beat en route to the Tier I title will be higher than in Slams.

Anyway, interesting stats, will go through once I have time.
 
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Also not to debunk Slams, but there were plenty of Tier 1 that were much harder to win than Slams. Too lazy to count now but I would bet in the last 5-6 years the average number of TOP10 you have to beat en route to the Tier I title will be higher than in Slams.

Anyway, interesting stats, will go through once I have time.
Nothing is harder to win than slams, top 256, all players enter and play their hardest, and only 1 is unbeaten after 2 weeks plus quals and get all the big money, sponsorships and public adulation. Pretending otherwise is laughable..

Top 10 means nothing if not everyone is playing every tournament, but ranking now tries to encourage more particpiation, but does it really ? Not many top players bothered with EU swing indoors this year. Some did.

All other tournaments are build up, try a few new things out, not everyone enters, lots drop out as other things are more important. Nobody will risk an injury in any lower tier tournament before a slam coming up, so lots of walkovers. Means Nothing.

Look at Adeliade 500, Naomi playing melbourne because its better for AO prep. Go figure.The public knows this, only a few posters on forums pretend they dont. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nothing is harder to win than slams, top 256, all players enter and play their hardest, and only 1 is unbeaten after 2 weeks plus quals and get all the big money, sponsorships and public adulation. Pretending otherwise is laughable..

Top 10 means nothing if not everyone is playing every tournament, but ranking now tries to encourage more particpiation, but does it really ? Not many top players bothered with EU swing indoors this year. Some did.

All other tournaments are build up, try a few new things out, not everyone enters, lots drop out as other things are more important. Nobody will risk an injury in any lower tier tournament before a slam coming up, so lots of walkovers. Means Nothing.

Look at Adeliade 500, Naomi playing melbourne because its better for AO prep. Go figure.The public knows this, only a few posters on forums pretend they dont. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Yes I agree. At the end of the day on average slams are harder than these smaller tournaments, as WTA 1000 is harder than WTA 500/250. Sometimes it's not the case but we make do with what we can. What would really be done is really analyze every single match and assess the quality of each match. The problem is 1) i'm not sure how that is entirely possible and 2) if it was, it would either be flawed or take too much time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes I agree. At the end of the day on average slams are harder than these smaller tournaments, as WTA 1000 is harder than WTA 500/250. Sometimes it's not the case but we make do with what we can. What would really be done is really analyze every single match and assess the quality and skilled performance of each player in each match. The problem is 1) i'm not sure how that is entirely possible and 2) if it was, it would either be flawed or take too much time.
 

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Nothing is harder to win than slams, top 256, all players enter and play their hardest, and only 1 is unbeaten after 2 weeks plus quals and get all the big money, sponsorships and public adulation. Pretending otherwise is laughable..

Top 10 means nothing if not everyone is playing every tournament, but ranking now tries to encourage more particpiation, but does it really ? Not many top players bothered with EU swing indoors this year. Some did.

All other tournaments are build up, try a few new things out, not everyone enters, lots drop out as other things are more important. Nobody will risk an injury in any lower tier tournament before a slam coming up, so lots of walkovers. Means Nothing.

Look at Adeliade 500, Naomi playing melbourne because its better for AO prep. Go figure.The public knows this, only a few posters on forums pretend they dont. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I was reacting to the post that plenty of Tier 2 is harder than Tier 1. Not arguing against Slams are still the most important tournaments of the year but also it's funny to pretend there is no WTA tour besides 4 main ITF tournaments.

Anyway, the average number of TOP10 to beat for the Slam title in 2021 was 0.5 :oh: Which is something on the level of WTA 250s from 2021. :coffee: The fact is also that Slam lost a lot of meaning in women's circus in Serena's post-pregnancy era. Everybody can win it and it looks like almost everybody already has one.
 
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I was reacting to the post that plenty of Tier 2 is harder than Tier 1. Not telling Slams are not still the most important tournaments of the year but also it's funny to pretend there is no WTA tour besides 4 main ITF tournaments.

Anyway, the average number of TOP10 to beat for the Slam title in 2021 was 0.5 :oh: Which is something on the level of WTA 250s from 2021. :coffee: The fact is also that Slam lost a lot of meaning in women's circus in Serena's post-pregnancy era. Everybody can win it and it looks like almost everybody already has one.
If you look at the playing schedule since Indian wells, some players really hunt for points, and allot of players in Top 30 do not give a shit and did not bother. Once you see that, you can appreciate that top 10 means NOTHING and only important to a some of the players (to get a better draw for slams or YEC, thats about it).

If you think Naomi will be easier to beat than Badosa on a fast hard court I dont know what to tell you, but watch more tennis and understand what you are watching instead of looking at ranking numbers and players that prioritise points.

Halep and Angie will be harder opponents on a fast HC than most of the current Top 10 in AO.

At least you can keep posting that Top 10 are a joke and weak random WTA. But its not. Pleysr in top 10 play slams and points, some players just focus on slams.
 

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If you look at the playing schedule since Indian wells, some players really hunt for points, and allot of players in Top 30 do not give a shit and did not bother. Once you see that, you can appreciate that top 10 means NOTHING and only important to a some of the players (to get a better draw for slams or YEC, thats about it).

If you think Naomi will be easier to beat than Badosa on a fast hard court I dont know what to tell you, but watch more tennis and understand what you are watching instead of looking at ranking numbers and players that prioritise points.

Halep and Angie will be harder opponents on a fast HC than most of the current Top 10 in AO.

At least you can keep posting that Top 10 are a joke and weak random WTA. But its not. Pleysr in top 10 play slams and points, some players just focus on slams.
You are good at thinking up the argument, putting it in my mouth, and reacting to it, so not quite sure how to respond to half of your text. :oh: However, your continuous argument that many TOP10 players are skipping non-slams events only supports my argument that draws collapse much more randomly and easily in slams. You have fewer TOP10, TOP30 players in Tier I, still it's much more probable those days to meet a lot of them on the route to the title. And yes, it's not about TOP10, but all seeds bombing out early in slams.
 
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You are good at thinking up the argument, putting it in my mouth, and reacting to it, so not quite sure how to respond to half of your text. :oh: However, your continuous argument that many TOP10 players are skipping non-slams events only supports my argument that draws collapse much more randomly and easily in slams. You have fewer TOP10, TOP30 players in Tier I, still it's much more probable those days to meet a lot of them on the route to the title. And yes, it's not about TOP10, but all seeds bombing out early in slams.
If there was a top 20 ranking for fast HC , top 20 ranking for clay, top 20 ranking for indoors and slow HC, top 20 ranking for grass....it would be easy, few surprises. Your problem is you lumping them all together (yearly ranking)

Its not random at all. If you want to take extremes look at AVU indoors vs outdoors or Osaka fast HC vs clay but this applies to almost every player strengths and weakneses . Small margins in tennis.
 

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If you look at the playing schedule since Indian wells, some players really hunt for points, and allot of players in Top 30 do not give a shit and did not bother. Once you see that, you can appreciate that top 10 means NOTHING and only important to a some of the players (to get a better draw for slams or YEC, thats about it).

If you think Naomi will be easier to beat than Badosa on a fast hard court I dont know what to tell you, but watch more tennis and understand what you are watching instead of looking at ranking numbers and players that prioritise points.

Halep and Angie will be harder opponents on a fast HC than most of the current Top 10 in AO.

At least you can keep posting that Top 10 are a joke and weak random WTA. But its not. Pleysr in top 10 play slams and points, some players just focus on slams.
Even if you don’t look only at ranking numbers, the point remains that there have been lots of non-slam events where the winner had a tougher path than some champs had to win their slam. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous. Yes, the slams are the most important tournaments but many players outside of Osaka and Serena care about other events, too, and show up aiming to play well.
 

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Even if you don’t look only at ranking numbers, the point remains that there have been lots of non-slam events where the winner had a tougher path than some champs had to win their slam. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous. Yes, the slams are the most important tournaments but many players outside of Osaka and Serena care about other events, too, and show up aiming to play well.
Its not tougher path at all - players play out of their skins at slams, and they are infront of huge crowds and pressure, the big stage. Players have a days rest and play at their max.

Playing infront of 23000 spectators in a massive stadium means players would play on 1 leg, very different to playing Chicago infront of 23 spectators and players just drop out if they have an itch.

Did you watch Chicago 500 this year - walk over city for those that turned up. Ho hum.

I did not say did not care, but priorities, training, build up is to peak for slams, its very clear to anyone.
 

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Interesting thread but at the end of the day it's slams that build the legacy of a player.

What would you rather have:
  • 1 slam (2000 points)
  • 2 WTA 1000s (2x1000= 2000 points)
  • 4 WTA 500s (4x500=2000 points)
  • 8 WTA 250s (8x250=2000 points)
I think the answer is clear.

So, the higher %share of slams, the better ratio. Ideally, slams = 100% of titles won.
 
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Its not tougher path at all - players play out of their skins at slams, and they are infront of huge crowds and pressure, the big stage. Players have a days rest and play at their max.

Playing infront of 23000 spectators in a massive stadium means players would play on 1 leg, very different to playing Chicago infront of 23 spectators and players just drop out if they have an itch.

Did you watch Chicago 500 this year - walk over city for those that turned up. Ho hum.

I did not say did not care, but priorities, training, build up is to peak for slams, its very clear to anyone.
Clijsters 2005 Miami Draw was harder than a slam.

1r : def. Kloesel (Q) 6-0, 6-1
2r: def. Frazier (24) 6-2, 6-3
3r: def. Dechy (12) 6-0, 6-2
4r: def. Myskina (5) 6-3, 6-4
QF def. Dementieva (4) 6-2, 6-1
SF def. Mauresmo (1) 6-1, 6-0
F def. Sharapova(2) 6-3, 7-5

My goodness..
 

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Clijsters 2005 Miami Draw was harder than a slam.

1r : def. Kloesel (Q) 6-0, 6-1
2r: def. Frazier (24) 6-2, 6-3
3r: def. Dechy (12) 6-0, 6-2
4r: def. Myskina (5) 6-3, 6-4
QF def. Dementieva (4) 6-2, 6-1
SF def. Mauresmo (1) 6-1, 6-0
F def. Sharapova(2) 6-3, 7-5

My goodness..
On paper only. Do you think the same results if playing for USO and every player has peaked for that event, has a trainer and Physio, and days rest between each match means they are fully ready for each game ?

No you cant.
 
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