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View Full Version : Do ATP points honestly reflect how good a player really is?


Golden Retriever
11-07-2004, 01:14 PM
I don't really know how it works but I think if you enter more tournaments then you have the potential to get more points than a better player entering less tournaments. I think they should devise a better scoring system involving a much more complex mathematical model which takes the number of tournaments entered, the winning ratio, matchs won against top players and many other variables into consideration.
Lets say if such a system existed which honestly reflects how good a player really is, who would be on the top 10?

Max G.
11-07-2004, 01:22 PM
Hard to say. Depends what your system rewarded. Would someone who consistently gets to semis and quarters and finals and once in a while wins a tournament do better than someone who has flashes of greatness in which he dominates for a week or two, but then loses in a bunch of first rounds?

perfmode
11-07-2004, 01:28 PM
I think a third ranking system based on who you beat would be good. They could use the system that people use for Chess, gaming ladders etc. where a great player has a score of 2400, good players are in the 1900 range and journeymen are around 1300. That works for a lot of other "sports".

Golden Retriever
11-07-2004, 01:42 PM
Hard to say. Depends what your system rewarded. Would someone who consistently gets to semis and quarters and finals and once in a while wins a tournament do better than someone who has flashes of greatness in which he dominates for a week or two, but then loses in a bunch of first rounds?

Perfmode has practically answered your question. According to that perfect system, if that someone consistently gets easy draws and gets to semis and quarters because of the easy draws, he would have a much lower score than someone who gets MS on first rounds everytime and actually beats him 80% of the time only to end up losing to RF which he gets on second rounds everytime. That someone would never get to the third round of any tournament but he would have a very high score on the scoring system.

Max G.
11-07-2004, 02:00 PM
Well, the simple way to implement that is to do what they do in the WTA - give "quality points" for wins over higher-ranked players. That doesn't need a complete overhaul of the system.

...my question was more along the lines of "consistent performer" vs. "streaky player".

If you have someone like Jiri Novak of '02, who keeps getting to the later rounds of tournaments but then losing, would he do better than someone who has a great week or two, then vanishes for a while and loses a bunch of first rounds, then has another great week or two...?

Lets say they both get about the same toughness of draws, it's that one player consistently beats the lower-ranked players and consistently loses to the higher-ranked players, but the other has streaks in which he beats everyone and streaks in which he loses to everyone.

...or would that dilemma not be resolved, it would be left as it is now - whatever happens, happens?

...also, if you take into account a win-loss ratio in determining the results, you get a situation in which it would be better for the player NOT to play a tournament - you'd give even more incentive for the claycourters to skip the grass-court season, since they'd have more to lose than to gain.

Personally, I think that putting in "quality points" for beating higher-ranked players, like the WTA does, would be a good idea; decreasing the number of tournaments counted would also be a good idea. But complicated formulas are just that - complicated, and would plobably have loopholes or strange unintended consequences.

perfmode
11-07-2004, 02:01 PM
Hard to say. Depends what your system rewarded. Would someone who consistently gets to semis and quarters and finals and once in a while wins a tournament do better than someone who has flashes of greatness in which he dominates for a week or two, but then loses in a bunch of first rounds?

Perfmode has practically answered your question. According to that perfect system, if that someone consistently gets easy draws and gets to semis and quarters because of the easy draws, he would have a much lower score than someone who gets MS on first rounds everytime and actually beats him 80% of the time only to end up losing to RF which he gets on second rounds everytime. That someone would never get to the third round of any tournament but he would have a very high score on the scoring system.

Yep, pretty much. Using that system, you'd also lose a lot more points if you lose to a noob. You wouldn't lose a lot of points if you lose to someone with a much higher score.

rhubarb
11-07-2004, 02:10 PM
A system like this, you mean?

http://www.setratings.com/

Max G.
11-07-2004, 02:46 PM
Ooh, nice!!

There are some big differences though... Safin and Moya are way down. So is Hrbaty, and Srichaphan. Novak and Kiefer are way up.

The greatest problem I see with using this system as an actual ranking to determine anything - someone like Escude, who hasn't played since Roland Garros, is still ranked highly. Overall, seems like a good system for judging who's actually better than who. But I don't think it would work well if used as a ranking for tournament entry.

perfmode
11-07-2004, 03:23 PM
A system like this, you mean?

http://www.setratings.com/

That's exactly what I was talking about. I didn't know they had it in tennis.

Max G.
11-07-2004, 06:45 PM
I'll have to remember that site. I agree that something like that is more useful for predicting who'll beat whom, if used properly.

Golden Retriever
11-07-2004, 07:53 PM
Ooh, nice!!

There are some big differences though... Safin and Moya are way down. So is Hrbaty, and Srichaphan. Novak and Kiefer are way up.

The greatest problem I see with using this system as an actual ranking to determine anything - someone like Escude, who hasn't played since Roland Garros, is still ranked highly. Overall, seems like a good system for judging who's actually better than who. But I don't think it would work well if used as a ranking for tournament entry.

I think a better system would also take the # of tournaments entered with good result (maybe round 3 and higher) into consideration. Therefore someone who only played one GS and won would still rank lower than someone who played 18 tournaments and only reached round 3 on all of them.

Golden Retriever
11-07-2004, 08:06 PM
Well, the simple way to implement that is to do what they do in the WTA - give "quality points" for wins over higher-ranked players. That doesn't need a complete overhaul of the system.

...my question was more along the lines of "consistent performer" vs. "streaky player".

If you have someone like Jiri Novak of '02, who keeps getting to the later rounds of tournaments but then losing, would he do better than someone who has a great week or two, then vanishes for a while and loses a bunch of first rounds, then has another great week or two...?

Lets say they both get about the same toughness of draws, it's that one player consistently beats the lower-ranked players and consistently loses to the higher-ranked players, but the other has streaks in which he beats everyone and streaks in which he loses to everyone.

...or would that dilemma not be resolved, it would be left as it is now - whatever happens, happens?

...also, if you take into account a win-loss ratio in determining the results, you get a situation in which it would be better for the player NOT to play a tournament - you'd give even more incentive for the claycourters to skip the grass-court season, since they'd have more to lose than to gain.

Personally, I think that putting in "quality points" for beating higher-ranked players, like the WTA does, would be a good idea; decreasing the number of tournaments counted would also be a good idea. But complicated formulas are just that - complicated, and would plobably have loopholes or strange unintended consequences.

An ideal system should probably favor the more consistent player. A great run for a week or two implies "luck" and an ideal system should iron out the element of luck. But of course that is assuming other factors being equal which is unlikely the case. I admit there will never be a perfect system but at least it is better than the one using now.

BigboyDan
11-07-2004, 09:33 PM
No way a 23 year-old Federer is better than a 23 year-old Becker - Becker's best would have crushed Fed's best.

Brettolius
11-08-2004, 08:33 AM
Bigboydan, how do figure that? surely you're being facetious?

kevhen
11-08-2004, 01:32 PM
Do they have ratings based on surface clay vs hardcourt vs grass? I am surprised pro tennis doesn't use more of a ladder based system but they try to encourage the pros to play in as many of tournaments as possible by using the point system.

Chanchai
11-08-2004, 02:04 PM
They do have Clay and Grass Ratings ;) I haven't looked much at it yet, but it's right there on the front page.

BigboyDan
11-08-2004, 04:11 PM
Bigboydan, how do figure that? surely you're being facetious?
Ahem:

Latest World Rankings

Men's Singles
1. R. Federer
2. A. Roddick
3. L. Hewitt
4. C. Moya
5. G. Coria
6. M. Safin
7. T. Henman
8. A. Agassi
9. D. Nalbandian
10. G. Gaudio


Several years rankings that Becker faced since his 1985 Wimbledon win at the age of 17:

1985
Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe
Mats Wilander
Jimmy Connors
Stefan Edberg
Boris Becker
Yannick Noah
Anders Jarryd
Miloslav Mecir
Kevin Kurren

1986
Ivan Lendl
Boris Becker
Mats Wilander
Yannick Noah
Stefan Edberg
Henri Leconte
Joakim Nystrom
Jimmy Connors
Miloslav Mecir
Andres Gomez

1987
Ivan Lendl
Stefan Edberg
Mats Wilander
Jimmy Connors
Boris Becker
Miloslav Mecir
Pat Cash
Yannick Noah
Tim Mayotte
John McEnroe

1988
Mats Wilander
Ivan Lendl
Andre Agassi
Boris Becker
Stefan Edberg
Kent Carlsson
Jimmy Connors
Jakob Hlasek
Henri Leconte
Tim Mayotte

1989
Ivan Lendl
Boris Becker
Stefan Edberg
John McEnroe
Michael Chang
Brad Gilbert
Andre Agassi
Aaron Krickstein
Alberto Mancini
Jay Berger


1990
Stefan Edberg
Boris Becker
Ivan Lendl
Andre Agassi
Pete Sampras
Andres Gomez
Thomas Muster
Emilio Sanchez
Goran Ivanisevic
Brad Gilbert

I rest my case. Look at Agassi, then an infinitely better player than he is now; a 20 year-old Agassi would crush today's players as well as would Becker, Lendl, Connors, Sampras, Edberg, Wilander, Noah - all Slam winners each. Face it son, Federer just ain't got no competition right now.

K!ck5w3rvE
11-08-2004, 10:47 PM
Do ATP points honestly reflect how good a player really is?

No.

Because otherwise I would be world no. 1.

davey25
11-09-2004, 07:32 AM
Definetely not. Conners being 1 for many years when Borg was the best. Sampras getting to 1 in 93 when Courier owned 2 slams to Sampras 1. Becker not being year 1 in 89 as Wimbledon and U.S open champion. Roddick ending the year 1 in 2003. The list goes on and on. Right now they make sense though. Federer is the best by far. Roddick, Hewitt, and Safin are all close in ability and rank. The top 10 are all in right order and the right content.