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I think they won't be taken off of the ankings...they will lose their ranking points all year around, until they totally disappear from the list! That's what actually happened to Graf when she retired!
 

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Sory, Joao, but that wasn't the case with Graf. The "official"
computer rankings at year-end 1999 listed neither Graf or Jana Novotna, despite Steffi winning the French that year. The WTA is consistent only in being inconsistent.
 

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Steffi asked the WTA to remove her from the rankings when she retired in August 1999, which took off at #3 in the world. Anke and Tauziat could have themselves removed if they asked. I think it's only fair to the players below them.
 

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The WTA isn't being inconsistent.

The rule is that, to be in the rankings, a player must have a minimum of 3 tournaments played in the last 52 weeks. Normally, when a player retires, she will be taken off the ranking when the # of tournament is less than 3.

But players can ask the WTA to be removed immediately, that's what happened with Graf and Novotna.

Last year, Sabine Appelmans and Dominique Van Roost both retired, Dominique asked to be removed and she wasn't in the rankings, while Sabine was there all year long.
 

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Yep its entirely down to the players which I think is a bad thing.

WTA should remove all retired players.

It makes quite a big difference.

Lower down the ranks it can have more effect as you could play someone who would have been Top 500 and defeating them would give you a bonus point which in turn could give you a seeding spot/or Main draw spot in the following events tha follow that you play.
 

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You're right Egg:) I've no objections to removing retired players, but:

a- Be consistent about it. Why make this a players whim?
b- It would be nice to include a year-end rank even for those
"removed". It's silly to look at year-end ranks for 1999 and
not see Graf in the top 10.
 
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