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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After the Australian Open, it was noted how far ahead the top 10 were of the chasing pack. With Monica Seles making the Tokyo final, they're even further ahead. (Not sure of the point totals, but I think #10 Seles is now nearly 1000 points ahead of #11 Shaughnessy).
And the scariest thing? Hardly any of the top 10 have all that many points to defend for a while.
MONICA: after Scottsdale, she has NOTHING to defend until the summer.
JELENA: virtually nothing of consequence until Rome, and not much at any Slam.
AMELIE: is the exception, but even then she skipped both IW and KB last year - could pick up lots of points if she plays them this year.
JUSTINE: nothing of consequence until RG except Berlin (although after RG, she'll have to start playing very well very quick).
SERENA: when you've only played 9 tournaments in the past year, all you need to do is actually turn up at a couple more events to gain points.
KIM: apart from Indian Wells, there's nothing until RG; last year, she had a disastrous pre-RG season which should change this year.
MARTINA: after Dubai, she has no more titles to defend this YEAR.
VENUS: having already committed to Paris and Dubai, she's in prime gaining-points position.
JENNIFER: has only one title to defend until RG.

(nb: I've left Lindsay out as she's out until the clay-court season anyway.)

So, what we have is are 10 dominant players, none of whom (with the possible exception of Jelena) can be ruled out to WIN a Slam (not just get to the semis, or quarters - all are valid title contenders), and all but two of whom have the opportunity over the next few months to become even more dominant. Two major consequences: 1) the top 10 should become more competitive than ever, with the #10 being able to beat the #1 at any given time (and vice versa, obv); 2) it's even more difficult for players outside this élite to catch up.

Moving on to the chasing pack.
#s 11-20 are in a state of flux. So far this year, only two players in this section have impressed, and ironically they're the two no-one expected to see here this time last year, and the two most would have expected to drop out this year: Shaughnessy and Farina Elia. Both are doing a good job of consolidation, but neither look like challenging the Elite Ten mentioned above seriously and consistently. Witness Hingis demolishing both this year.
The two players in this section one WOULD have expected to be making a push for the top 10 are Elena D and Iroda. The pressure's on both: we need to see a title from Elena D, together with a more consistent challenge to those at the top (no more of this 6-3 6-0 flaming out nonsense); Iroda needs to learn how to beat the lower-ranked players, rather like Jelena two years ago.
The continued presence of Nathalie Tauziat and Anke Huber in the top 20 is irritating. Unfortunately, unless she asks to be removed, we can expect to see Nathalie there until after Wimbledon. :mad:

So: there's ample opportunity for some up'n'comers to move into the top 20, if not the top 10. Daniela Hantuchova and Alexandra Stevenson have shown the best form this year; if they return from their injuries well, it should be time for Lina Krasnoroutskaya, Nadia Petrova and Anabel Medina Garrigues to move up. Then there's Daja Bedanova, who I really expected more from in Oz. And they may not be teenagers, but Rita Grande, Francesca Schiavone and Martina Sucha all seem more than capable of displacing any out-of-form top 20 players.

Further down the rankings, Elena Bovina and Anastasia Myskina need to justify their talent. They have it; they just need to use it. It'll be interesting to see how Eleni Daniilidou and Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian build on last year's success, jumping from outside the top 300 to inside the top 100. Daniilidou in particular impressed in Australia.

And in the top 200 are four teenagers whose senior results thus far are very impressive. All have made it to their current positions playing less than ten tournaments, and all are worth looking out for: #147 Su-Wei Hsieh, #148 Angelique Widjaja, #181 Svetlana Kuznetsova and #189 Kaia Kanepi. I think they're all 16 years old and therefore still under age restrictions, but it's fair to say we'll be hearing more of them this year.

And of course, we can't forget Ms. Anna Kournikova. After Paris, she has NOTHING to defend this year until Luxembourg, right at the end. She's in good form: two semi-final placings, a Slam doubles title, stretching Seles and Serena - members of the aforementioned Elite Ten - to 3 sets. If she keeps it up, she should be top 20 by year's end.

This post has been ridiculously long and ridiculously detailed. Yes, I'm avoiding writing an essay :rolleyes:
 

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good post :)

Gap is way too big between 10 and 11


I've tried an alternative method of rank but if used will be pretty complex for fans to understand

using best of 17 method , players can only count 5 events on one surface.

5 in clay, hard and indoors plus 2 on grass

This will encourage alot of players who simply don't play on surfaces they don't like. They will have to play.

You won't be able to make points up on surfaces you miss out on by playing more on ones you do.


THis method would see Capriati's rank lead increased to around 800 points
Venus would be #2 but she's hardly played indoors (it wont affect her much but she does play mostly on hard).

Lindsay at #3, but she has no clay points on her criteria.

Hingis would be #4 some 600 pts behind Venus.
5-9 would be pretty close.

Monica would be one to suffer right now as she missed all clay/grass season and only has 2 indoor events but she would still be #10.


Lower down
from the top 40 or so, one person had the biggest jump. Anne Kremer moved upto #20 (I've discounted Huber/Tauziat)

One with the biggest fall in pts is Angeles Montolio wo would fall to #30.
 

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I don't think being that specific on surfaces is fair. Hardcourt is a BIG part of the tour, more than 29-30%.

Personally, I like the idea of best 13+4 Slams. Wait, I take that back. Now that the Slams have had their point values increased, I will stick with best 17.
 

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But hardcourts account for nearly 80% of injuries as well

Ideally it should be 6 hard, 5 clay and 4 indoors
 

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Very good post, sartrista! Don't forget Gisela Dulko who is sitting at number 200 I think.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
KC - I'm aware of Gisela, but I only cited those who've played less than ten tournaments to get into the top 200. Do you think Gisela will eventually be better than Maria Emilia Salerni? Salerni was the junior champion in 2000, but really didn't do all that much last year...

TBE - I like the idea of a ranking system which balances the surfaces equally. Surface-orientated results are killing the ATP right now, and if the trend towards hard courts continues it'll do the same to the WTA. It'd discriminates against those who are forced to miss chunks of the season due to injury though...
 

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Nice Stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sonic - yes, I guess so, I was just referring to the fact that Justine has a Slam final, a Slam semi, and a title to defend in the space of about a month, not to mention her points from Berlin - her points last year were very concentrated.
 

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Anyone get the feeling no one is really striving for #1? Venus simply has to play more before Wimbledon, because that's when she has billions of points to defend. But does she? No.

Lindsay and Monica miss half of the season.

Serena just flat out doesn't enter tournments.

Martina and Jennifer decided to stop winning tournaments.

I mean, all of these players have had great chances to put a strong grip on the #1 ranking, but wasted their oppurtunity.
 

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Maybe this is what Rios was talking about. But still, he shouldn't mentioned it.:eek:
 

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Very interesting thread, lets se what happens,
 

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The rankings actually seem to be the way they should for once! The winners of the last 7 slams are now 1-2 in the rankings, with Martina #3. That's about the way I think it should be! Even though they're not my particular favourite players, both Jen and Venus deserve to be at the top.
 

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This is an interesting and informative post sartrista. For me, one who is completely tennis-dumb, I actually GOT what you were saying. (yay me ;) )

It almost looks like everyone's moving UP, which is pretty impossible.

But I'm glad to hear that Anna will only have points to gain, for most of it.

Again, great post. I actually understood. ( :rolleyes: @ self. Idiot.)
 

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And it was kind of an accurate analysis by RockSteady, but
"Martina and Jennifer decided to stop winning tournaments."
Thats mean. :sad:


But funny. lol ;)
 

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Very good post. Sorry I did not respond earlier.
I had already been thinking about posting something about what you had touched on in your post.
I guess that is good that I am thinking like you or bad for you if you are thinking like me. :rolleyes:
 
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