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View Full Version : The Grand Prix Points Race:the real ranking system in the 70s/80s?


Moose Malloy
04-27-2007, 11:02 AM
Was just watching the 1982 Masters final(played in January '83) between McEnroe & Lendl.

In the intro the commentators mentioned that the Grand Prix circuit "consists of 84 events throughout the year & the top 8 qualify"(much like today)

For the 1982 Masters field (not sure what the results of the final did as far as the ranking, but it seems unlikely that Connors could have been passed regardless) the Grand Prix leaders were:

1. Connors 3355
2. Vilas 2495
3. Lendl 2313
4. McEnroe 2305

When you look through the player activity of these players for 1982, this list seems to accurately reflect who the best players were that year. But the atp ranking(which has become regarded as the official ranking today) has it this way for 1982:
1. McEnroe
2. Connors
3. Lendl
4. Vilas

Its strange that the year end masters didn't acknowledge the atp ranking at all in their event, commentators didn't even mention it, today at the Masters Cup a player receives a trophy at that event for finishing #1, it didn't happen then because the rankings didn't match always match. I'm not sure the results of the Masters was even factored into the atp ranking those years!

This might explain why Vilas wasn't "officially" considered #1 for 1977(despite winning 2 majors), even though I've read he did finish first in the Grand Prix Race that year.

Does anyone have the list of players who finished #1 in the Grand Prix in the 70s/80s? I think that would be a more fair method of comparing past #1s to today, since that system is more similar to that of today.

Looking at my old issues of tennis magazine, they have 2 lists in the back, one with the race & one with the atp ranking.

Here is an example from November 1985(there were still many events left that year, including an Australian Open in December)

Grand Prix:
1. McEnroe 3903(which belies the notion that Mac declined considerably after '84, which I've read here lately)
2. Lendl 3808
3. Wilander 2808
4. Connors 2178
5. Becker 2023

ATP Ranking(Pt. Avg.)
1. Lendl 158.642
2. McEnroe 142.571
3. Wilander 108.764
4. Connors 88.357
5. Becker 72.388

It would be interesting to see what the rankings today using this system would be, averaging all your events for a pt. avg. Early round losses would seem to really hurt a player. I'm very curious what points were alloted to events in the 70s/80s.

urban
04-27-2007, 11:31 AM
Moose, I never really unsterstood the system of the ATP computer in the 70s/8os. I think it was based on percentages, which made it easier to play less with a higher winning percentage. So if you win 8 out of 10 events, it was (on the computer) better than say 15 out of 20. And i think, for a period of time the last years result went into the numbers as well, a bit as in the golf world ranking. The Grand Prix was invented by none other than Jack Kramer in 1970, as the opposing concept of the ITF vs. the WCT, who organized an own 20 tournament series in 1971. It remained basically an ITF concept (together with the Masters), with the ATP only controlling the computer and some own tournaments like Tucson. The Grand Prix winners in the 70s (from the top of my head), who got big bonus-money, were Cliff Richey (70), Stan Smith, Nastase in 72 and 73, Vilas in 74 (when Connors had his great year), then winners included, i think Raul Ramirez and Eddy Dibbs. The Majors had not that much extra points as it is today.I don't know, if Borg and Connors ever won that Grand Prix. It is to be said, that the ITF Grand Prix rivalled for a while with the WCT circuit, which later since 1973 was exclusively played in spring.

Q&M son
05-25-2008, 10:47 AM
Anyone has the points of GP and ATP for 75 and 77?

Thanks.

jeffreyneave
05-25-2008, 01:01 PM
There is nothing complicated about the systems . Grand prix points are awarded for each event and the more you play the more points you get. The Atp rankings are an average system with a minimum play of 12. Therfore if you play 25 atp points counting events' your atp points average is your total accumlated points divided by 25; if you only play 6 events your total points are still divided by 12.

The actual points in 1975 for winners of an event were as follows:

TC (french , wimbledon , us) 160
150,000 total prize money 120
125,000 100
100,00 80
75,000 60
50,000 40
25,000 20


The breakdown for an event was as follows eg 50,000
W 40
rup 30
sf 20
qf 10
L16 5

These ratios used fror all events.


Infaltion in prize money in the 70s lead to higher ponts being awarded for each year. So by end of the 70s a 200,000 event existed and would award 160 points. (TC events were obviously upgraded in response to the higher prize money as well). But 100,000 event still got 80 points.

jefffrey

Q&M son
05-26-2008, 08:34 AM
Anyone has the points of GP and ATP for 75 and 77?

Thanks.

I mean the final standings for those years.

AndrewTas
05-26-2008, 11:11 AM
Does anyone have the list of players who finished #1 in the Grand Prix in the 70s/80s? I think that would be a more fair method of comparing past #1s to today, since that system is more similar to that of today.


There is a list of Grand Prix standings in this thread. Is this what you are after?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=189367

Q&M son
05-26-2008, 02:37 PM
There is a list of Grand Prix standings in this thread. Is this what you are after?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=189367

Andrew, I want the points of GP and ATP rankings for 1975 and 1977. I saw you put the points of Grand Prix 77. Thank you.

AndrewTas
05-26-2008, 10:56 PM
Grand Prix Points

1975
1. Vilas 850
2. Orantes 764
3. Borg 560
4. Ashe 550
5. Nastase 485
6. Connors 470
7. Ramirez 402
8. Panatta 393
9. Solomon 375
10. Dibbs 370

1977
1. Vilas 2047
2. Gottfried 1548
3. Borg 1210
4. Orantes 870
5. Dibbs 777
6. Tanner 758
7. Ramirez 754
8. Connors 722
9. Gerulaitus 670
10. Solomon 624


ATP Rankings

1975
1. Connors 769 points/ 18 tournaments/ Average 42.72
2. Vilas 893 points/ 21 tournaments/ Average 42.52
3. Borg 728 points/ 19 tournaments/ Average 38.32
4. Ashe 905 points/ 24 tournaments/ Average 37.71
5. Orantes 887 points/ 25 tournaments/ Average 35.48
6. Rosewall 387 points/ 13 tournaments/ Average 29.77
7. Nastase 699 points/ 24 tournaments/ Average 29.12
8. Alexander 587 points/ 24 tournaments/ Average 24.46
9. Tanner 569 points/ 24 tournaments/ Average 23.71
10. Laver 351 points/ 15 tournaments/ Average 23.40

1977
1. Connors 897 points/ 15 tournaments/ Average 59.80
2. Vilas 1610 points/ 28 tournaments/ Average 57.50
3. Borg 906 points/ 17 tournaments/ Average 53.29
4. Gerulaitus 762 points/ 15 tournaments/ Average 50.80
5. Gottfried 1215 points/ 26 tournaments/ Average 46.73
6. Dibbs 848 points/ 27 tournaments/ Average 31.41
7. Orantes 671 points/ 22 tournaments/ Average 30.50
8. Ramirez 692 points/ 25 tournaments/ Average 27.68
9. Nastase 393 points/ 15 tournaments/ Average 26.20
10. Stockton 579 points/ 23 tournaments/ Average 25.17

urban
05-27-2008, 01:44 AM
Its quite clear, and i wrote that above, that the ATP system was built on average and did heavily favor the player with less tournaments played. Connors, in 1977, got the better on Vilas, although Vilas scored double the points of Connors, even under the ATP system.

Q&M son
05-27-2008, 03:45 AM
Thanks Andrew, this is what I wanted to know.

Lucio.

jeffreyneave
06-07-2008, 05:09 AM
I looked up the points averages for 1974.

Borg had 813 points/23 events = 35.35
Laver had 447 points/13 events = 34.38

Borg thus finished 3rd and laver 4th.

However, I noticed Borg that played 14 regular Grand prix events ( the masters play-off did not count); 9 regular WCT events (8 green group ones plus philadelphia, which all 3 (green, red and blue) groups played (again the Callas final play-offs did not count). That makes 23.

However, borg also played in the first ever staging of The Atp's big event in the desert (it still exists today at Indian wells), which was called the American Airlines games and played in Tuscon. borg lost in the 2nd round to his doubles partner Bengsten. The ATP always counted their own events in the ranking. So that makes 24 for Borg

813/24 = 33.87

That puts Borg below Laver. I strongly feel the atp has made a big error here.
Laver should be n03 and Borg only 4th

Q&M son
06-07-2008, 06:27 AM
Thanks jeffrey. Another one to ATP mistakes :(

Moose Malloy
06-08-2008, 03:08 PM
813/24 = 33.87

That puts Borg below Laver. I strongly feel the atp has made a big error here.
Laver should be n03 and Borg only 4th

After the WTA admitted that Goolagong should have been ranked #1 in '76 earlier this year, this doesn't surprise me.

Q&M son
06-14-2008, 11:37 AM
jeffrey, in 77 is all ok? no mistakes? haha! who knows!

Tomaz Bellucci
06-14-2008, 02:49 PM
jeffrey, in 77 is all ok? no mistakes? haha! who knows!

Wish? Ha!:)

Vegito
07-10-2008, 12:25 PM
One question: If Vilas had gained the tournament Aix en Provence(remember the spaghetti racket of Nastase) How many points would have had?

elegos7
10-02-2010, 11:58 PM
The actual points in 1975 for winners of an event were as follows:

TC (french , wimbledon , us) 160
150,000 total prize money 120
125,000 100
100,00 80
75,000 60
50,000 40
25,000 20

Infaltion in prize money in the 70s lead to higher ponts being awarded for each year. So by end of the 70s a 200,000 event existed and would award 160 points. (TC events were obviously upgraded in response to the higher prize money as well). But 100,000 event still got 80 points.

jefffrey

Hi Jeffrey,

Thanks for those points, I always wondered how the ATP allocated points in the 1970s.

I have the point system for 1988 that looks like this:
200,000 total prize money 80
150,000 70
125,000 60
100,00 50
75,000 40
50,000 30
25,000 20


So it looks like sometimes between 1975 and 1988 they decided to increase the number of points gained with a prize money difference of only 25,000 USD, not only 50,000 as in 1975.
Perhaps it was already in 1976 when they allocated stars to the Grand Prix events. The difference between stars was 25,000 USD.

After a couple of years, because of the prize-money explosion, they decided to add additional stars for 50,000 USD above 150,000 USD (as you can see from the 1988 list), then for 75,000 USD above 500,000 USD etc.

Has anybody any info when these changes occured? Could anyone list the number of points for the winners of the Grand Slam events before 1985? From that year I could calculate the points (deducting bonus points) from the ATP website. I also added the Lipton event for reference.

1985
French 270
Wimbledon 270
US 290
AUS ? (197?)
Lipton ? (227?)

1986
French 290
Wimbledon 290
US 300
Lipton 230

1987
AUS 200
French 310
Wimbledon 310
US 330
Lipton 230

1988
AUS 250
French 350
Wimbledon 350
US 350
Lipton 250

1989
AUS 260
French 380
Wimbledon 400
US 380
Lipton 230

1990 (start of the ATP tour)
AUS 360
French 400
Wimbledon 400
US 400
Lipton 265

Interesting to note that the AUS OPen equalled the Lipton event first in 1988. And do not forget that no points were awarded for the Grand Prix Masters and the WCT finals before 1990 (although both events were very important).

timnz
10-03-2010, 02:07 AM
Lendl was far far ahead of Vilas in terms of tournament wins in 1982 (and way ahead of Connors for that matter)- so I don't get how Vilas is ahead of Lendl in terms of the ranking system you mention. (Or is the ranking system you mention also ignore WCT wins - of which Lendl had many).

Benhur
03-14-2012, 07:20 AM
Lendl was far far ahead of Vilas in terms of tournament wins in 1982 (and way ahead of Connors for that matter)- so I don't get how Vilas is ahead of Lendl in terms of the ranking system you mention. (Or is the ranking system you mention also ignore WCT wins - of which Lendl had many).

1982 was apparently a special year in that there were two parallel and competing systems going on all year. I had read something about this before but can't find it. There is a wikipedia page titled World Championship Tennis 1982, but only in Italian, listing all WCT events month by month that year. The description under the title says:

World Championship Tennis 1982 was a series of tennis tournaments rivaling [i.e. in competition with] the Volvo Grand Prix 1982. It was organized by the WCT. It started on January 5 with the Masters Doubles WCT and ended on December 19 with the Hartford WCT final.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Championship_Tennis_1982

A total of 21 tournaments are listed. Lendl entered and won 9 of them, but of course they carried no Grand Prix points.

kiki
03-14-2012, 05:18 PM
Was just watching the 1982 Masters final(played in January '83) between McEnroe & Lendl.

In the intro the commentators mentioned that the Grand Prix circuit "consists of 84 events throughout the year & the top 8 qualify"(much like today)

For the 1982 Masters field (not sure what the results of the final did as far as the ranking, but it seems unlikely that Connors could have been passed regardless) the Grand Prix leaders were:

1. Connors 3355
2. Vilas 2495
3. Lendl 2313
4. McEnroe 2305

When you look through the player activity of these players for 1982, this list seems to accurately reflect who the best players were that year. But the atp ranking(which has become regarded as the official ranking today) has it this way for 1982:
1. McEnroe
2. Connors
3. Lendl
4. Vilas

Its strange that the year end masters didn't acknowledge the atp ranking at all in their event, commentators didn't even mention it, today at the Masters Cup a player receives a trophy at that event for finishing #1, it didn't happen then because the rankings didn't match always match. I'm not sure the results of the Masters was even factored into the atp ranking those years!

This might explain why Vilas wasn't "officially" considered #1 for 1977(despite winning 2 majors), even though I've read he did finish first in the Grand Prix Race that year.

Does anyone have the list of players who finished #1 in the Grand Prix in the 70s/80s? I think that would be a more fair method of comparing past #1s to today, since that system is more similar to that of today.

Looking at my old issues of tennis magazine, they have 2 lists in the back, one with the race & one with the atp ranking.

Here is an example from November 1985(there were still many events left that year, including an Australian Open in December)

Grand Prix:
1. McEnroe 3903(which belies the notion that Mac declined considerably after '84, which I've read here lately)
2. Lendl 3808
3. Wilander 2808
4. Connors 2178
5. Becker 2023

ATP Ranking(Pt. Avg.)
1. Lendl 158.642
2. McEnroe 142.571
3. Wilander 108.764
4. Connors 88.357
5. Becker 72.388

It would be interesting to see what the rankings today using this system would be, averaging all your events for a pt. avg. Early round losses would seem to really hurt a player. I'm very curious what points were alloted to events in the 70s/80s.

Gran prix points were never averaged it was a total addition of points while ATP was an average.In 1979 Mac was the nš 1 at the GP and Borg at the ATP.Vilas won the GP in 74,75 and 77.

kiki
03-17-2012, 01:42 AM
GP was inspired in car racing Formula 1.Just an addition of points, with no division by nš of tournaments.

Doug_Hartley_2012
03-17-2012, 03:00 AM
Not a good indicator in the early 70s.

kiki
03-17-2012, 03:16 AM
Not a good indicator in the early 70s.

True.WCT had also a very similar system, which qualified the 8 guys with most points for Dallas.They had 2 groups of 32 players in 1971-1973 and in 1974-1976 they had a three group system, with 21 players in each group.Except for Connors, all the big names competed in the WCT tour.

In 1978, WCT and Gran prix merged, but it lasted just 4 years, till WCT went his own way from 1982 till 1989, when it ceased operations after severe economic downfall.

Pro tennis, and tennis fans of the 70īs and 80īs ow so much to Lamar Hunt,Al Hill,Dixon et al.

urban
03-17-2012, 07:46 AM
In 1971 and 72, the WCT had one group of 32 players, with 20 tournaments played over the year. They were filled up at certain events like Rome, Berkeley or Melbourne by other non contract players. Since 1973 they had 2 then 3 groups, and played only in spring over 10 or 11 events each.

kiki
03-18-2012, 12:27 PM
In 1977 WCT run exclusively 16 men drafts with all the best players in the world bar Borg and Vilas ( who took part in Philadelphia and Montecarlo, anyway).The only tournament with a bigger field was Philadelphia, with 64.it was known back then as the unofficial Worldīs Indoor Championship.

puppotenis
07-25-2013, 07:51 AM
I'm Eduardo Puppo, Argentine tennis journalist, Director of Communications for the ATP Buenos Aires (Copa Claro), CNN en espanol analyst, and author of the tetralogy of Argentina tennis history books:

http://www.tenniscom.com/aminisitetemporal/aaapromolibrohistoriahome.htm

I need a big help (maybe you have in your files).

We need to file those years (1973, 74 and 75) ATP rankings points each tournament. By Category and round.

The list should be like the attached example (belongs to 1977):

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=528691893863679&set=a.155565604509645.40783.155376204528585&type=1&theater

Alert: only ATP ranking points, NO Grand Prix points.

I'm working with Guillermo Vilas. It is an investigation into the 1973 to 1977 rankings. It is very important for Vilas and his story.

You can search their files? Or contact another person who has that info?

ATP Greg Sharko confirm that ATP does not have that information.

Thank you very much for the effort and sorry for my english!

Eduardo.

elegos7
07-25-2013, 11:10 AM
Hi Eduardo,

Good luck finding that info, I could not find anything in the past few years about the early ATP rankings.

The only thing I found is a comment in the book of Richard Evans about the first 20 years of Open tennis, that describes the 1973 ATP tankings system, but with not enough detail:
"a player is awarded tournament points (that vary according to the amount of prize money and the size and difficulty of the draw(how many Top10 or Top20 players are entered)) and bonus points (for beating players in the Top24: 6p for a Top1-8 player, 4p for a Top9-16, 2p for a Top17-24). It is not designed to name the No.1 player, but to determine entries in tournaments. The WCT finals, GP Masters and the Davis Cup are not included in the rankings."
Evans mentioned he was among the inventors of the rankings. Perhaps he knows more details, try to contact him.

puppotenis
07-25-2013, 05:51 PM
Thank you very much for the tip of Evans. I will contact him! A greeting.

kiki
07-26-2013, 05:39 AM
Moose, I never really unsterstood the system of the ATP computer in the 70s/8os. I think it was based on percentages, which made it easier to play less with a higher winning percentage. So if you win 8 out of 10 events, it was (on the computer) better than say 15 out of 20. And i think, for a period of time the last years result went into the numbers as well, a bit as in the golf world ranking. The Grand Prix was invented by none other than Jack Kramer in 1970, as the opposing concept of the ITF vs. the WCT, who organized an own 20 tournament series in 1971. It remained basically an ITF concept (together with the Masters), with the ATP only controlling the computer and some own tournaments like Tucson. The Grand Prix winners in the 70s (from the top of my head), who got big bonus-money, were Cliff Richey (70), Stan Smith, Nastase in 72 and 73, Vilas in 74 (when Connors had his great year), then winners included, i think Raul Ramirez and Eddy Dibbs. The Majors had not that much extra points as it is today.I don't know, if Borg and Connors ever won that Grand Prix. It is to be said, that the ITF Grand Prix rivalled for a while with the WCT circuit, which later since 1973 was exclusively played in spring.

Inspired on Formula 1 sistem.Accumulative points, not divided by nš of events played.

kiki
07-26-2013, 05:42 AM
Anyone has the points of GP and ATP for 75 and 77?

Thanks.

I think Vilas, closely followed by Orantes and Ramirez, dominated the 1975 GP as he had done in 1974.

Vilas played a lot of events and that went into account without considering %

As for ATP, Connors led it after Newcombe dropped down.I think by mid July, Connors was the nš 1 on the computer.

I was watching yesterday the 1976 USO final, which is on you tube ( full length) and the commentator said that Jimmy had been the worldīs nš 1 ranked player by late July 75, if memory serves well.

In 77, Vilas won the race of GP but Connors kept the ATP nš 1 ranking, talking off my hat.

kiki
07-26-2013, 05:45 AM
1982 was apparently a special year in that there were two parallel and competing systems going on all year. I had read something about this before but can't find it. There is a wikipedia page titled World Championship Tennis 1982, but only in Italian, listing all WCT events month by month that year. The description under the title says:

World Championship Tennis 1982 was a series of tennis tournaments rivaling [i.e. in competition with] the Volvo Grand Prix 1982. It was organized by the WCT. It started on January 5 with the Masters Doubles WCT and ended on December 19 with the Hartford WCT final.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Championship_Tennis_1982

A total of 21 tournaments are listed. Lendl entered and won 9 of them, but of course they carried no Grand Prix points.

Lendl also won all three WCT finals: in may at Dallas (Mc Enroe), in october at Naples, Italy (Kriek) and in January 83 at Detroit (Vilas)

Vilas had an amazing first half in 82, the best season for him since his great 1977.If he had kept that pace, could have really ended up the year as the nš 1 player.