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coolhandluke
01-18-2011, 02:30 PM
0 & 0
whats up with that? is there no love for her on the boards? Maybe Marat should coach her?

15_ounce
01-18-2011, 02:36 PM
I was shocked to see Dinara changed her service motion like Elena Dementieva... why go backward???????? She used to serve a little bit like John McEnroe :lol:

AM95
01-18-2011, 02:36 PM
her mind went completely south after that loss to kuznetsova in the 09 FO.

aceX
01-18-2011, 02:45 PM
Maybe she should eat a double bagel

zak425
01-18-2011, 02:46 PM
Maybe she should eat a double bagel

I think she's had enough chocolate cake

Shangri La
01-18-2011, 02:51 PM
0 & 0 is horrendous. But Kim should have given her at least one game - maybe Kim had a deja vu of the match against Li Na when leading 5-0?

chrischris
01-18-2011, 02:54 PM
The girl looks very depressed. She should take a break.

15_ounce
01-18-2011, 02:56 PM
0 & 0 is horrendous. But Kim should have given her at least one game - maybe Kim had a deja vu of the match against Li Na when leading 5-0?

Yeah perhaps Kim worried that she would lose the match after leading 60 50 :lol:

15_ounce
01-18-2011, 02:59 PM
The girl looks very depressed. She should take a break.

Seems like it. She should go on a vacation... she already died her hair.

When she comes back, she should change her racquet too :)

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 03:04 PM
0 & 0 is horrendous. But Kim should have given her at least one game - maybe Kim had a deja vu of the match against Li Na when leading 5-0?

The Kim-Na final in Sydney only proved that you cannot just give a game to anyone at that level, especialy a former #1, even if the worst #1 in history playing with no confidence. It would have been foolish of Kim to do any such thing. It is highly unlikely it would have made any difference, but it is pointless to consider taking the chance. If Safina cant earn a game on her own merit she didnt deserve one.

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 03:07 PM
I think the worst thing that could ever happen to Safina was getting to #1. It was almost something she stumbled into by accident. She has none of the game, talent, weaponary, or mental fortitude to remotedly handle holding such a lofty position. She clearly does not even have the talent of say Kimiko Date, whose age of 39 is clearly a bigger disadvantage than any slump or injury Safina has, yet is still able to post close wins over Safina in their 2 matches last year. Yet even Date in her prime never made a slam final or ranked higher than #6, so that puts Safina into perspective. Being a #1 who the Williams and the other big names could flick away in a big match as if she were a little fly, and the outrage of people about her ranking, all wore on her.

If she sets a reasonable goal for herself like being a top 20 player again then perhaps there is hope for her to return to a decent career from here. She will never attain even close to the heights she did in 2008-2009 which were a huge overachievement for her, something she can be very proud of, but unrealistic to ever come close to matching again.

Manus Domini
01-18-2011, 03:10 PM
0 & 0 is horrendous. But Kim should have given her at least one game - maybe Kim had a deja vu of the match against Li Na when leading 5-0?

So? Why should Kim give her a game?

Tanya
01-18-2011, 03:17 PM
Stick a fork in her, she's done. She's reaching Vaidisova-like levels at this point.

Shangri La
01-18-2011, 03:23 PM
Stick a fork in her, she's done. She's reaching Vaidisova-like levels at this point.

Where is her Stapanek?

lacoster
01-18-2011, 06:48 PM
I think the worst thing that could ever happen to Safina was getting to #1. It was almost something she stumbled into by accident. She has none of the game, talent, weaponary, or mental fortitude to remotedly handle holding such a lofty position. She clearly does not even have the talent of say Kimiko Date, whose age of 39 is clearly a bigger disadvantage than any slump or injury Safina has, yet is still able to post close wins over Safina in their 2 matches last year. Yet even Date in her prime never made a slam final or ranked higher than #6, so that puts Safina into perspective. Being a #1 who the Williams and the other big names could flick away in a big match as if she were a little fly, and the outrage of people about her ranking, all wore on her.

If she sets a reasonable goal for herself like being a top 20 player again then perhaps there is hope for her to return to a decent career from here. She will never attain even close to the heights she did in 2008-2009 which were a huge overachievement for her, something she can be very proud of, but unrealistic to ever come close to matching again.

You don't get to #1 in the world by accident. She has lots of talent and huge firepower, but it seems all mental at this point.

Her two straight losses to 40-something Kimiko Date were pretty shocking to her psyche and to the tennis world, but we all know Date (career high #4) gives all the top players fits.

She almost beat Wickmayer in Brisbane, but losing 6-0, 6-0 to Kim and 6-1, 6-0 to Bartoli the week before doesn't do well for your confidence...

richied
01-18-2011, 06:51 PM
Time to switch hands

Alexandros
01-18-2011, 06:53 PM
The contrast between Safina's movement and Clijsters' was really remarkable in this match. Even more amazing is how Safina managed to make it to number 1 when she moves like a herniated lumberjack.

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 06:59 PM
You don't get to #1 in the world by accident.

She is the most accidental of anyone who reached that rank in the 35 year history of the WTA ranking system. And probably for the next 200 atleast to come. So she is atleast as accidental as you can possibly be to reach that rank.

She has lots of talent and huge firepower, but it seems all mental at this point.

Some of it is mental I concur, but she never had a #1 level game. It makes me laugh some delude themselves to thinking she does and overlook the array of circumstance that led to her becoming #1. At best she has really only a top 20 game, but even her actual game isnt as good as its best so it isnt even that right now. She is a one dimensional power player with no serve that can be overpowered by an old Date or Wickmayer easily. Not exactly a great recipe for elite success.

1970CRBase
01-18-2011, 07:07 PM
I felt sorry for her watching her being beaten up by Serena Williams in 2009. This year against Kim it's beyond sorry, that display. Kim obviously didn't celebrate that win, only did what she had to do which was exactly right. Pity because I see Safina and Woz too as really victims of a bad points system.

Poor Safina.

soyizgood
01-18-2011, 07:14 PM
Can we give Safina a break here? This is like the 4th or 5th thread, it seems. I didn't see Venus get bashed like this when she lost 6-0 6-1 to Clijsters on Venus' home turf. :confused:

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 07:50 PM
I dont recall Venus ever losing a match to Clijsters 6-1, 6-0 unless it was an exhibition.

I agree Safina should not be bashed for losing 6-0, 6-0 to Clijsters though. That was exactly what I expected. Even when Safina was at her best the real champions destroyed her in all big matches, so now nowhere near her best a double bagel is the expected result.

The poor girl should just go down to challengers to get away from the spotlight and rebuild herself from scratch. It is too bad she ever reached #1. She has too much scrutiny on her for someone of her limited (relatively speaking) talent and it is unfair to the poor girl.

soyizgood
01-18-2011, 08:13 PM
I dont recall Venus ever losing a match to Clijsters 6-1, 6-0 unless it was an exhibition.

Uh, Miami 2010 final....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es36-xURHJE

I thought it was 6-1 6-0, but that 6-2 6-1 beatdown was almost as bad.

jamesblakefan#1
01-18-2011, 08:15 PM
Can we give Safina a break here?

This? Coming from you? Surely even you see the hypocrisy in this coming from you.

cc0509
01-18-2011, 08:19 PM
The Kim-Na final in Sydney only proved that you cannot just give a game to anyone at that level, especialy a former #1, even if the worst #1 in history playing with no confidence. It would have been foolish of Kim to do any such thing. It is highly unlikely it would have made any difference, but it is pointless to consider taking the chance. If Safina cant earn a game on her own merit she didnt deserve one.

Exactly! Kim is not there to be charitable, she is there to win!

Sid_Vicious
01-18-2011, 08:20 PM
Safina needs some mood stabilizers.

1970CRBase
01-18-2011, 08:31 PM
Can we give Safina a break here? This is like the 4th or 5th thread, it seems. I didn't see Venus get bashed like this when she lost 6-0 6-1 to Clijsters on Venus' home turf. :confused:

That brought tears to my eyes. Very funny sir!

soyizgood
01-18-2011, 08:32 PM
This? Coming from you? Surely even you see the hypocrisy in this coming from you.

It doesn't really matter. I seriously doubt any pro reads these threads anyway. The haters have been out on force since that match. Did anyone really expect Safina to beat Clijsters? True I root for Safina, but I'm also realistic.

Safina isn't going to do much this year (I fear even longer) for as long as she plays with a huge chip on her shoulder (back worries, criticism, internal and external pressure). Add to it changing her service motion, being somewhat defensive, and losing her identity when playing and this is what she ends up with.

Folks bashed Safina for losing to Venus at Wimbledon in 2009. Venus is only the best or 2nd best grass player to play over the past 10 years. Serena is only the AO-GOAT over that span as well. At least Safina has beaten both Williams', something the "TT Darling" Wozniacki hasn't done.

Anyway, the mob can now resume tarring and feathering her.

jamesblakefan#1
01-18-2011, 09:02 PM
It doesn't really matter. I seriously doubt any pro reads these threads anyway. The haters have been out on force since that match. Did anyone really expect Safina to beat Clijsters? True I root for Safina, but I'm also realistic.

Safina isn't going to do much this year (I fear even longer) for as long as she plays with a huge chip on her shoulder (back worries, criticism, internal and external pressure). Add to it changing her service motion, being somewhat defensive, and losing her identity when playing and this is what she ends up with.

Folks bashed Safina for losing to Venus at Wimbledon in 2009. Venus is only the best or 2nd best grass player to play over the past 10 years. Serena is only the AO-GOAT over that span as well. At least Safina has beaten both Williams', something the "TT Darling" Wozniacki hasn't done.

Anyway, the mob can now resume tarring and feathering her.

But you bash every WTA player under the sun pretty much, even when they lose in close matches. But Safina we should take pity on? Coming from the most cutthroat WTA basher on here, even when players win you find someway to bash them.

Look I know you have a mancrush on Safina for some reason, but still. Losing 0 and 0 is deplorable for a former #1. It's impossible to say people should take it easy on her after that effort and the effort she's shown the past year. And yes I know she's your fave, but to glaze over it as if it's no big deal to lose 0 and 0 is hypocrisy. Even if Blake lost 0 and love I'd bash the crap out of him.

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 10:22 PM
Folks bashed Safina for losing to Venus at Wimbledon in 2009. Venus is only the best or 2nd best grass player to play over the past 10 years. Serena is only the AO-GOAT over that span as well.

It isnt that she lost those matches. It was how she lost them. Only getting 1 game in the Wimbledon semis vs Venus, not acceptable for a #1. It doesnt matter how great Venus is on grass, all other #1s would have done alot better than that, even the other weak ones like Jankovic or Ivanovic. Same with Serena in the Australian Open. Compare her final to a year later when Henin barely back from retirement and nowhere near her best still pushed Serena to a tougher 3 setter. 3 games and a bagel set is not good enough for someone who you want to be taken seriously as a #1.

No #1 player ever has been so easily b1tchslapped around by the best players during their peak period that got them and for awhile kept them at #1 on the computer.

And that is what most of us mean when she was never a worthy #1.

NadalAgassi
01-18-2011, 10:26 PM
Uh, Miami 2010 final....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es36-xURHJE

I thought it was 6-1 6-0, but that 6-2 6-1 beatdown was almost as bad.

Venus was clearly injured in that match and Venus is in the twlight of her career anyway. Anyway I agree with you Safina shouldnt be that blasted for losing 6-0, 6-0. It is not like she is #1 or anywhere close to it anymore, and that is pretty much the result I expected vs Clijsters right now. The worst thing is the best players were beating up on her nearly that bad even when she was #1.

Buckethead
01-19-2011, 03:23 AM
Where is her Stapanek?
It will take a very macho man to tame that beast.
Safina wanted to be like Marat, controversial, insane on the court, but she forgot she isn't as good.
She's been humiliated often lately, but it has been good, because 2 years ago after she almost lost to Alize Cornet she said in an interview that she would never lose to a girl like that. Here is her pay back. Since then I disliked her for not respecting the opponent.
At least she was honest and let everybody know, unlike the W. Bros that are fake and tell all that BS about the opponents, but you know they mean otherwise.

Underhand
01-19-2011, 03:36 AM
Safina should retire ASAP.

Joe Pike
01-19-2011, 03:55 AM
0 & 0 is horrendous. But Kim should have given her at least one game - maybe Kim had a deja vu of the match against Li Na when leading 5-0?


To give away a game is an insult to your opponent.

Joe Pike
01-19-2011, 03:56 AM
I think the worst thing that could ever happen to Safina was getting to #1. It was almost something she stumbled into by accident. She has none of the game, talent, weaponary, or mental fortitude to remotedly handle holding such a lofty position. She clearly does not even have the talent of say Kimiko Date, whose age of 39 is clearly a bigger disadvantage than any slump or injury Safina has, yet is still able to post close wins over Safina in their 2 matches last year. Yet even Date in her prime never made a slam final or ranked higher than #6, ...

You are SO clueless.

Joe Pike
01-19-2011, 03:58 AM
She is the most accidental of anyone who reached that rank in the 35 year history of the WTA ranking system. And probably for the next 200 atleast to come. So she is atleast as accidental as you can possibly be to reach that rank.



Some of it is mental I concur, but she never had a #1 level game. It makes me laugh some delude themselves to thinking she does and overlook the array of circumstance that led to her becoming #1. At best she has really only a top 20 game, but even her actual game isnt as good as its best so it isnt even that right now. She is a one dimensional power player with no serve that can be overpowered by an old Date or Wickmayer easily. Not exactly a great recipe for elite success.


She never would have made the top-10 in 1986-96, the Golden Age of women's tennis.

Kegzz
01-19-2011, 09:22 AM
She had two stress fractures in her back, as well as a ruptured muscle. That's an incredibly bad injury, and she obviously has yet to fully recover mentally.

li0scc0
01-19-2011, 10:00 AM
I was shocked to see Dinara changed her service motion like Elena Dementieva... why go backward???????? She used to serve a little bit like John McEnroe :lol:

It helped Dementieva, and it has helped Safina. Both double fault LESS after adopting the abbreviated motion.

ryushen21
01-19-2011, 10:50 AM
I've said before, she needs a break and a new coach. Obviously the one she has been with forever is not producing results. The talent is there but the mental toughness is not.

woody88
01-19-2011, 10:51 AM
It isnt that she lost those matches. It was how she lost them. Only getting 1 game in the Wimbledon semis vs Venus, not acceptable for a #1. It doesnt matter how great Venus is on grass, all other #1s would have done alot better than that, even the other weak ones like Jankovic or Ivanovic. Same with Serena in the Australian Open. Compare her final to a year later when Henin barely back from retirement and nowhere near her best still pushed Serena to a tougher 3 setter. 3 games and a bagel set is not good enough for someone who you want to be taken seriously as a #1.

No #1 player ever has been so easily b1tchslapped around by the best players during their peak period that got them and for awhile kept them at #1 on the computer.

And that is what most of us mean when she was never a worthy #1.

So, when Sharapova lost to Serena while winning a total of 2 games or somewhere in that ball park in Aussie open one year, she does not deserve it either. You really need to watch some tennis before you speak.

She was just a victim in the ranking system, and perhaps she played the system. But she had consistent results in leading up to her number 1 ranking. Was she number 1? no, but that does not mean she didn't work hard for it. There are plenty of girls that reached number 1 that don't deserve it based on grand slam records, including on the men's side.

May I suggest you do some more thinking before you post again?

And watching Safina drop this far is quite sad. You have got to feel for her. Watching her the other day, I saw that she has actually trimmed down. I think she can still compete, because she has a pretty big game, but right now, it is all about confidence. And like the other poster have said, I am afraid that she is in the Vaidisova territory.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 11:21 AM
So, when Sharapova lost to Serena while winning a total of 2 games or somewhere in that ball park in Aussie open one year, she does not deserve it either.

Of course Sharapova did not deserve #1 in 2007. What a stupid question. Henin was by far the #1 player of 2007 and soon swept in and easily ripped the #1 right away from Sharapova which Maria only temporarily took by default since Henin took some time off for her divorce. Sharapova was badly injured, serving like crap, and playing nowhere near #1 caliber tennis, hence why she was soon replaced at that spot and barely ended 2007 in the top 10.

Her strong 2006 performances are what briefly put her in that spot, combined with Mauresmo's 07 AO flop and Henin's brief sabatical, so it was still fine in the short term.

You really need to watch some tennis before you speak.

Whatever, I have watched lots of tennis and no #1 has ever been everyones b-tch to the extent Safina was. If she played a big name in a big match she was gauranteed to only get 1-4 games or something. And less than a year after being #1 or even while still ranked #1 anyone in the top 250 can beat her on a given day. You cant compare any other #1 than her, even other weak slamless #1s like Jankovic or Wozniacki.

Heck even Jankovic has beaten Venus at Wimbledon and Serena at the Australian and never been humiliated in a big match anywhere, be it a slam semi or final, or a WTA Championship or Miami semi or final.


May I suggest you do some more thinking before you post again?

Take your own advice next time.

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 11:38 AM
She is the most accidental of anyone who reached that rank in the 35 year history of the WTA ranking system. And probably for the next 200 atleast to come. So she is atleast as accidental as you can possibly be to reach that rank.



Some of it is mental I concur, but she never had a #1 level game. It makes me laugh some delude themselves to thinking she does and overlook the array of circumstance that led to her becoming #1. At best she has really only a top 20 game, but even her actual game isnt as good as its best so it isnt even that right now. She is a one dimensional power player with no serve that can be overpowered by an old Date or Wickmayer easily. Not exactly a great recipe for elite success.


I would have to agree with you on this one. Very similar to Jankovic, IMO. Safina, at her best, is a solid, consistent ball striker with the ability to outlast her opponents. She moved well and seemed to be in very good shape, at her peak. When she started trying to outhit her opponents, go for too much on her groundstrokes and add variety(getting too cute with her shots), she started losing. What is going on with her serve? I thought that she was working with her brother, on a limited basis.

It is very easy for a top 20 player on the WTA tour to play a ton of events, just be very consistent(not outstanding) and fall *** backwards into the #1 spot. Jankovic, Safina, Wozniacki etc. Not winners of majors. As accidental as it can get.

li0scc0
01-19-2011, 11:40 AM
I would have to agree with you on this one. Very similar to Jankovic, IMO. Safina, at her best, is a solid, consistent ball striker with the ability to outlast her opponents. When she started trying to outhit her opponents, go for too much on her groundstrokes and add variety(getting too cute with her shots), she started losing.

It is very easy for a player on the WTA tour to play a ton of events, just be very consistent and fall *** backwards into the #1 spot. Jankovic, Safina, Wozniacki etc. Not winners of majors. As accidental as it can get.

I have to disagree on Jankovic. Jankovic truly has moments of brilliance. Jankovic has a much better serve, and is FAR more athletic. Jankovic had (has) the talent to be a true #1.
And Wozniacki won a ton of events. She deserves the #1 ranking. She won the most, and was the most consistent. Best player? No, that was Kim Clijsters. But Kim did not win as many tourneys, or play as much. Caroline is #1.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 11:44 AM
I dont think Jankovic is a #1 caliber player either but she is definitely a more talented player than Safina.

woody88
01-19-2011, 11:57 AM
Of course Sharapova did not deserve #1 in 2007. What a stupid question. Henin was by far the #1 player of 2007 and soon swept in and easily ripped the #1 right away from Sharapova which Maria only temporarily took by default since Henin took some time off for her divorce. Sharapova was badly injured, serving like crap, and playing nowhere near #1 caliber tennis, hence why she was soon replaced at that spot and barely ended 2007 in the top 10.

Her strong 2006 performances are what briefly put her in that spot, combined with Mauresmo's 07 AO flop and Henin's brief sabatical, so it was still fine in the short term.



Whatever, I have watched lots of tennis and no #1 has ever been everyones b-tch to the extent Safina was. If she played a big name in a big match she was gauranteed to only get 1-4 games or something. And less than a year after being #1 or even while still ranked #1 anyone in the top 250 can beat her on a given day. You cant compare any other #1 than her, even other weak slamless #1s like Jankovic or Wozniacki.

Heck even Jankovic has beaten Venus at Wimbledon and Serena at the Australian and never been humiliated in a big match anywhere, be it a slam semi or final, or a WTA Championship or Miami semi or final.




Take your own advice next time.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree won't we?

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 01:45 PM
I have to disagree on Jankovic. Jankovic truly has moments of brilliance. Jankovic has a much better serve, and is FAR more athletic. Jankovic had (has) the talent to be a true #1.
And Wozniacki won a ton of events. She deserves the #1 ranking. She won the most, and was the most consistent. Best player? No, that was Kim Clijsters. But Kim did not win as many tourneys, or play as much. Caroline is #1.

My response was based on the fact that this does NOT happen on the men's tour. Or, It hasn't happened since the days of Muster, Rios and Kafelnikov. I understand that the current men's top 5 is absolutely loaded, but the revolving door of #1 players on the women's tour(that have not won a major) is not a good thing.

I'm not saying that Jankovic or Wozniacki don't deserve to be #1. I'm not saying that they are not world class players. I'm saying that being # 1 on the women's tour does not mean a whole hell of a lot right now. If it doesn't indicate who the best player is, its flawed. The powers that be better get off their *** and do something. Either force the best players to play more events, which is not going to happen. Or reduce the # of events and make most of them mandatory to maintain a ranking, so that they can represent their sport accordingly.

Bryan Swartz
01-19-2011, 01:56 PM
My response was based on the fact that this does NOT happen on the men's tour. Or, It hasn't happened since the days of Muster, Rios and Kafelnikov. I understand that the current men's top 5 is absolutely loaded, but the revolving door of #1 players on the women's tour(that have not won a major) is not a good thing.

I agree this is not a good thing, but the difference between the men and women is not the ranking system(which is fundamentally very, very similar and therefore is not the problem), but the players themselves. The top women fit into one of two categories: they are either less consistent than the men, or they invest less in the sport(i.e. not interested in playing hardly any non-slam events, even the 'mandatory' ones).

The attitude of the top women players today towards their craft is the problem.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 02:19 PM
The WTA ranking system is also terrible though. Both the mens ranking system and the old womens ranking system is better. The old womens ranking system had your average divided by 12 if you played 12 or less events, but divided by whatever # you played if it was more than 12. It also, and I think this is VERY important, awarded quality points for the higher the ranked opponents you beat. The current ranking system awards no points depending on the rank of opponents you beat, and it takes your best 17 so players can play 25 (sometimes over 30) events and throw out a bunch of bad performances. And players who play 12 or less events are hurt even more, even if they are better players producing better results and bigger winswhen they do play. The mens ranking system is set to award points at the 4 slams and the Masters which are the next biggest events. Only a very small # of minor events are allowed to count. Again much better than the current WTA system.

Maybe even with a better ranking system we would have some strange #1s the last few years but it would certainly decrease the chances and the time they spend their most likely.

And yes it is if fair to say that many recent #1s were never considered the best player in the World, irregardless of their rank. Nobody ever considered Safina the best player in the World. Few really considered Jankovic the best player in the World while she was #1. Almost nobody considers Wozniacki the best player in the World now. Ivanovic is the only one that some might have considered the best when she took #1 since she had just won a slam, had 2 slam finals already that year, and since Henin the previous clear #1 had retired, while Serena hadnt won a slam in 18 months at that point. That feeling didnt last long though as she flamed out quickly at that point.

THUNDERVOLLEY
01-19-2011, 02:41 PM
She is the most accidental of anyone who reached that rank in the 35 year history of the WTA ranking system. And probably for the next 200 atleast to come. So she is atleast as accidental as you can possibly be to reach that rank.

Agreed; she did not have the genuine talent or court intellect to overcome anyone when it counted at the majors. To sharp minds, Safina was never a part of--or had the potential to be a great player winning majors; for those on the other side of the issue, there were (and remain) torrential floods' worth of poor reasons why she did not live up to the hype, the motives for said hype, or her lightning-fast fall from the top.

She is a one dimensional power player with no serve that can be overpowered by an old Date or Wickmayer easily. Not exactly a great recipe for elite success.

....yet some hold on to the hope that such a player can make a comeback.

Odd.

Dwight Schrute
01-19-2011, 02:48 PM
Dinara reminds me of Angela, just not the same age.

Bryan Swartz
01-19-2011, 02:50 PM
The mens ranking system is set to award points at the 4 slams and the Masters which are the next biggest events. Only a very small # of minor events are allowed to count. Again much better than the current WTA system.

The only difference here is that the WTA has fewer mandatory events. But it isn't by that much. You still have the 4 Slams and the Premier Mandatory events, and a couple of Premier 5s that are all in there for the top players.

The men's tour has a few more 'Masters' -- that's really the only significant difference -- and the mens tour also allows two more events(18 to 16).

So for the women:

9 major events + 7 minor(oversimplified, but basically)

men:

13 major events + 5 minor

You could change the womens structure to be exactly like the mens and it wouldn't make a significant difference in the rankings, because the 'problem' is that the women who win majors in recent years tend to miss a lot of the other events.

I'm also totally against the 'quality points' thing and I'm glad it's gone. You can only beat the players in front of you, and it penalizes a player if a top seed that is in their path gets upset, because now they don't have a chance to get those points.

#1 means you've achieved the most, not necessarily are the best. It's important to distinguish between those two concepts.

soyizgood
01-19-2011, 03:40 PM
The only difference here is that the WTA has fewer mandatory events. But it isn't by that much. You still have the 4 Slams and the Premier Mandatory events, and a couple of Premier 5s that are all in there for the top players.

The men's tour has a few more 'Masters' -- that's really the only significant difference -- and the mens tour also allows two more events(18 to 16).

So for the women:

9 major events + 7 minor(oversimplified, but basically)

men:

13 major events + 5 minor

You could change the womens structure to be exactly like the mens and it wouldn't make a significant difference in the rankings, because the 'problem' is that the women who win majors in recent years tend to miss a lot of the other events.

I'm also totally against the 'quality points' thing and I'm glad it's gone. You can only beat the players in front of you, and it penalizes a player if a top seed that is in their path gets upset, because now they don't have a chance to get those points.

#1 means you've achieved the most, not necessarily are the best. It's important to distinguish between those two concepts.

For top WTA players, the mandatory events is really 11. Majors + 4 premier mandatory + 3 premier 5's + best results from a small number of events (I forgot the number). Also, the top 10 year-end players are restricted to a maximum of two international events (call it the Wozniacki-Radwanska rule).

The WTA point scale is quite similar to the ATP's.
Slams - 2000
Premier Mandatory - 1000
Premier 5 - 900
Premier - 470
International - 280

I agree on your points. The problem isn't with the point system. It's mostly that certain stars (Henin, Serena, Venus, Clijsters) care for the slams first and only. That leaves the 1000/900 events up for grabs to players to game the system. Jankovic gamed the system the most when she got #1 in August 2008, only she did so winning 1 Tier-1 and no slam finals. Safina won 3 tier-1's and made 2 slam finals to get #1. Wozniacki won 1 tier-1 and had 0 slam finals in the prior 12 months when she got #1, but she also won a few Premier events.

It makes perfect sense. In ATP and WTA you could win all 4 majors and total 8000 pts. That number isn't good enough to be #1 if you took the rest of the year off as the 9 Masters = 9000 possible points. In theory that's true for WTA as 8000pts < 8500pts offered in the Premier Manadatory/5's.

The current situation on the WTA is that outside of the "Big 4", the other players, for the most part, actually play a full year. So that creates a 2-tier system of top players. It's not Wozniacki/Jankovic/Safina/Zvonareva's fault at all. After 2012, I suspect the system will play out more normally as any of Serena/Venus/Clijsters/Henin will retire.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 03:42 PM
To the general public though, and remember most fans are casual fans not die hard tennis fans like many of us, #1 means or should mean the best. Thus you need a system that is most likely to make the current "best" #1.

The luck of higher ranked players being upset before you play them should balance out. Players like Safina and Wozniacki have shown an almost complete failure to beat other high ranked or top women, so this should hurt them and would under the quality points system.

If you had a system that showed if players played the main 12 or less so events they would be rewarded you might get a Serena or Clijsters to buy into. The current system where you are actually rewarded for playing 30 events, they just say no mas and the ranking chaos which rewards less talented workhorses ensues.

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 04:09 PM
I agree this is not a good thing, but the difference between the men and women is not the ranking system(which is fundamentally very, very similar and therefore is not the problem), but the players themselves. The top women fit into one of two categories: they are either less consistent than the men, or they invest less in the sport(i.e. not interested in playing hardly any non-slam events, even the 'mandatory' ones).

The attitude of the top women players today towards their craft is the problem.

Yeah, I totally agree. That's why I qualified my comparison by saying that the men's top 5 is loaded with deserving players.

You're probably right. Obviously, those are just knee jerk comments that I made in frustration. But, if top players are allowed to continue to fall comfortably into the, 1) play all tourneys-perform consistently or 2)play grand slams and select tourneys-perform outstanding, without concern of consequence, there will be no motivation to change.

However, I think you are spot on about the attitudes being the biggest factor. I guess that if u think u have reached your potential and can make a great living adopting either attitude, its worth it. Maybe being # 1 is not that important anymore. Nadal stated recently that he likes being # 1, but also liked being # 2. Its important to Federer, but that's a different issue. Very good post Bryan Swartz.

soyizgood
01-19-2011, 04:13 PM
It's not in either tour's interests to value the slams so much. They're presitgious and get awarded the most points, but neither tour runs those majors. Hence the ATP 1000 and the WTA Premier Mandatory/5's to get more focus on events throughout the year.

There's complaints from the ATP players about the length of the year, but for the most part the season allows them to pick their spots when the Slams and ATP 1000's aren't played.

As for the WTA, they actually compressed the year to end in early November. What happened? More injuries, top players playing events while hurt (Azarenka and Wozniacki withdrew and tanked matches numerous times), you still have players like Wozniacki/Bartoli/Pennetta playing 20+ events, and it's made Clijsters/Serena/Venus opt to play more of a part-time schedule. I don't think the WTA will get improved participation from the Big 4 no matter what accommodations they make. The WTA won't even punish the Williams' for skipping Indian Wells and only fined Serena 80K for that USO tirade.

Azzurri
01-19-2011, 04:23 PM
I think the worst thing that could ever happen to Safina was getting to #1. It was almost something she stumbled into by accident. She has none of the game, talent, weaponary, or mental fortitude to remotedly handle holding such a lofty position. She clearly does not even have the talent of say Kimiko Date, whose age of 39 is clearly a bigger disadvantage than any slump or injury Safina has, yet is still able to post close wins over Safina in their 2 matches last year. Yet even Date in her prime never made a slam final or ranked higher than #6, so that puts Safina into perspective. Being a #1 who the Williams and the other big names could flick away in a big match as if she were a little fly, and the outrage of people about her ranking, all wore on her.

If she sets a reasonable goal for herself like being a top 20 player again then perhaps there is hope for her to return to a decent career from here. She will never attain even close to the heights she did in 2008-2009 which were a huge overachievement for her, something she can be very proud of, but unrealistic to ever come close to matching again.

I find many posters to be annoying and full of elephant crap, but you are the worst poster since Conquistador. Someone please take away your Internet so you can no longer pollute this forum.

aceX
01-19-2011, 04:36 PM
I find many posters to be annoying and full of elephant crap, but you are the worst poster since Conquistador. Someone please take away your Internet so you can no longer pollute this forum.

I think he makes a valid point.

soyizgood
01-19-2011, 05:07 PM
I suspect the ATP and WTA might be better off considering a scoring scale similar to golf or NASCAR. Maybe a hybrid of the two.

NASCAR's points are equal for each race and then you have a season-ending Chase series of races to determine the year's best. The PGA's system is complicated, but basically points start dropping off after 4 months and continues to do so over a 2-year period.

NASCAR's formula lets top players pace their way to get to this year-end set of events. Being #1 is just as good as being #12 going into the final series. Jimmy Johnson doesn't dominate the circuit during the run-up to the series, but he's clutch in the series and hence has won it the past 5 years.

Golf's system makes it harder for up-and-comers to topple the top players initially, but at the same time the top players can't just live off their results from months prior. Lee Westwood got to #1 without winning any majors over the past two years.

Just an idea....

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 05:16 PM
I have to disagree on Jankovic. Jankovic truly has moments of brilliance. Jankovic has a much better serve, and is FAR more athletic. Jankovic had (has) the talent to be a true #1.
And Wozniacki won a ton of events. She deserves the #1 ranking. She won the most, and was the most consistent. Best player? No, that was Kim Clijsters. But Kim did not win as many tourneys, or play as much. Caroline is #1.

I'm not upset that you are defending Jankovic, but moments of brilliance? The only player that I can think of that never won a slam and had occasional moments of brilliance is Marcelo Rios. I'm sure I can think of a few others, but Jankovic would not be one.

I think she's got a great body, is very fit, moves well and is an excellent ball striker. But, like Safina and Wozniacki, she does not possess a weapon that can separate her from the pack. If Jankovic won a slam, I might have to change my tune.

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 05:19 PM
I find many posters to be annoying and full of elephant crap, but you are the worst poster since Conquistador. Someone please take away your Internet so you can no longer pollute this forum.

Damn! That's rough. But, he does seem to have an axe to grind, regarding Safina.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 06:26 PM
I dont have an axe to grind. Yesterday is the first time I even talked about Safina. I dont even care about her really, she certainly isnt one of my faves or anti faves, I was just stating my opinion. If anything I was defending her, she is bashed too much since people expect way too much of her. She was such a huge overachiever to do what she has already done in her career which people still dont seem to clue into and appreciate, and even while ranked #1 she was much weaker than the real best players. So now slumping, no confidence, and injured, it is unreasonable to expect her to be competitive with someone like Clijsters.

Anyway I pretty much have no more to say on her other than good luck and hope she is a top 20 player again someday as I think that would be a big achievement for her to reach again at this point. The real issue is the WTA ranking system which has produced the worst collection of #1s in history in just a few years- Wozniacki, Safina, and Jankovic. I will give Ivanovic a pass since she actually WON a slam, was in 2 slam finals, and generally had some kick *** results for the 6 month period before she became #1. Whatever the WTA does it has to figure out some solution that comes up with a ranking system that reduces the chances of this continuing to happen and comes up with rankings that are somewhat in reality with who the real best players are.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 06:29 PM
As for the WTA, they actually compressed the year to end in early November. What happened? More injuries, top players playing events while hurt (Azarenka and Wozniacki withdrew and tanked matches numerous times), you still have players like Wozniacki/Bartoli/Pennetta playing 20+ events, and it's made Clijsters/Serena/Venus opt to play more of a part-time schedule. I don't think the WTA will get improved participation from the Big 4 no matter what accommodations they make.

Perhaps they wont but it is certainly worth trying to compromise and get something back from the other side. The current system rewarding people just for playing 30 tournaments is ridiculous. The WTA leaders live in a fantasy World if they think the players who target winning slams are going to play that much.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 06:32 PM
I'm not upset that you are defending Jankovic, but moments of brilliance? The only player that I can think of that never won a slam and had occasional moments of brilliance is Marcelo Rios. I'm sure I can think of a few others, but Jankovic would not be one.

I think she's got a great body, is very fit, moves well and is an excellent ball striker. But, like Safina and Wozniacki, she does not possess a weapon that can separate her from the pack. If Jankovic won a slam, I might have to change my tune.

I dont think Jelena Jankovic is a #1 caliber player really, but I do think she is underrated by many.

Keep in mind she beat Serena a the Australian Open and Venus at Wimbledon. Those are huge wins. How many players have beaten Serena and Venus at those particular events over the last decade, let alone both at their favorite slam. And she is competitive with all the top players except for Henin who is her kryptonite, but even against Henin she had some matches she should have won but has some wierd mental block with her.

I think her weapon is her movement. She is one of the short list of best movers and defenders in the game. And her backhand, especialy her backhand down the line.

In the year she ended #1 in 2008 she was very close to being on par with Serena. And every big match she has been in she has performed atleast respectfully well and usually made the matches very close even if she lost.

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 07:58 PM
I dont think Jelena Jankovic is a #1 caliber player really, but I do think she is underrated by many.

Keep in mind she beat Serena a the Australian Open and Venus at Wimbledon. Those are huge wins. How many players have beaten Serena and Venus at those particular events over the last decade, let alone both at their favorite slam. And she is competitive with all the top players except for Henin who is her kryptonite, but even against Henin she had some matches she should have won but has some wierd mental block with her.

I think her weapon is her movement. She is one of the short list of best movers and defenders in the game. And her backhand, especialy her backhand down the line.

In the year she ended #1 in 2008 she was very close to being on par with Serena. And every big match she has been in she has performed atleast respectfully well and usually made the matches very close even if she lost.

She has won some big matches, I'll give her that. But I would never classify her tennis as brilliant. Jankovic is certainly an athletic specimen, who can compete against anyone. Yes, her movement is excellent. But, overall, she is not in the same class as Serena, Henin or Clijsters. Mainly for not having won a slam. But, there's an argument for players like Sharapova and Kuznetsova, who may go away at times and have lacked consistency, but certainly have weapons that carried them to 2 grand slam wins.

Of all the # 1 players over the last five years that have not won a major, Jankovic is probably the best. I guess the judgement is subjective, regarding whether or not she is on equal ground with players who have won majors but do not possess the consistency necessary to beat the top players on a regular basis.

Bryan Swartz
01-19-2011, 08:02 PM
Perhaps they wont but it is certainly worth trying to compromise and get something back from the other side. The current system rewarding people just for playing 30 tournaments is ridiculous. The WTA leaders live in a fantasy World if they think the players who target winning slams are going to play that much.

True, but they don't have to. If the Big 4 only did as well at the Premier events as they do at Slams, and played the minimum allotment they are supposed to, Wozniacki would not be #1.

They don't have to play 30 tournaments. They don't have to play 20. The #1 is theirs for the taking: they've decided it's not worth the effort, or else they legtimiately can't stay healthy -- in what other sport can you take half or more of the year off and be crowned champion?

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 08:04 PM
She has won some big matches, I'll give her that. But I would never classify her tennis as brilliant. Jankovic is certainly an athletic specimen, who can compete against anyone. Yes, her movement is excellent. But, overall, she is not in the same class as Serena, Henin or Clijsters. Mainly for not having won a slam. But, there's an argument for players like Sharapova and Kuznetsova, who may go away at times and have lacked consistency, but certainly have weapons that carried them to 2 grand slam wins.

Of all the # 1 players over the last five years that have not won a major, Jankovic is probably the best. I guess the judgement is subjective, regarding whether or not she is on equal ground with players who have won majors but do not possess the consistency necessary to beat the top players on a regular basis.

I agree she definitely isnt overall on the level of Serena, Henin, Clijsters, or even Sharapova. I do think Jankovic is on the same level overall as Ivanovic who won a slam, and a better player than Schiavone who obviously won a slam. I dont even think she is even much worse than Kuznetsova who IMO is the weakest 2 slam winner in history at this point.

Tanya
01-19-2011, 08:16 PM
Jankovic is an overachiever just like Safina. I've never been impressed with her game. Apart from her movement (which is no longer as good as it used to be) I find her style to be very average. She isn't powerful, her serve is easily attacked, and her net game leaves much to be desired. The best thing she has going for her is her down-the-line backhand which still isn't even comparable to backhands of players like Serena, Henin, and even Sharapova. I think Jankovic reached #1 through similar circumstances as Safina--she played a LOT of tennis throughout the year and posted consistent results, and thus really just stumbled into the #1 spot. Let's not forget that Safina has 3 GS finals to her name, whereas Jankovic only has 1. After her match today against Peng Shuai I am even more convinced that Jelena has achieved as much as she is going to in her career.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 08:18 PM
IMO the only reason Safina has more slam finals than Jankovic is the 2008 French pitted Ivanovic-Jankovic against each other in the semis. That was the real final there that year. I have no doubt Jankovic would have easily beaten Safina had they played there, as Ivanovic would do in the final. Jankovic should have really beaten Ana in the semis to win the French that year, and only lost that match really due to her mental block with Ana. She was ahead all the way in all 3 sets but still found a way to lose.

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 08:44 PM
I agree she definitely isnt overall on the level of Serena, Henin, Clijsters, or even Sharapova. I do think Jankovic is on the same level overall as Ivanovic who won a slam, and a better player than Schiavone who obviously won a slam. I dont even think she is even much worse than Kuznetsova who IMO is the weakest 2 slam winner in history at this point.

There is obviously a difference between who wins the most(typically against weaker opposition) and who is the best player. What is worth more? Running over inferior, less confident and ultimately less competitive players? Or always competing effectively, with the proven ability to defeat elite players in a more difficult setting?

Tanya
01-19-2011, 08:46 PM
I think it's pretty well-accepted that winning Grand Slam tournaments is a.) more important than being #1, and b.) more indicative of who is the best.

NadalAgassi
01-19-2011, 08:52 PM
The strange thing is for a long time since the end of the Hingis debacle the #1 seemed to be the best player until recently.

2002- Serena obviously by far the best player ends year #1

2003- Henin sort of the best player aided by Serena's post Wimbledon injury ends the year #1

2004- Despite not winning a slam Davenport was probably overall the best player this year and ends the year #1. None of the slam winners other than maybe Sharapova have any compelling case. Lindsay would have won the U.S Open without her thigh injury and Wimbledon without the rain delay anyway.

2005- Again almost by default in another crazy open year Davenport was probably the overall best player despite not winning a slam. The only other possible best player was Clijsters who ended the year a close #2 and would have been #1 without bombing out at the WTA Championships.

2006- Despite Mauresmo winning 2 slams, Henin with the French and WTA Championship titles combined with all 4 slam titles was probably the Worlds best player and ended the year #1.

2007- Henin was obviously by far the best player this year and ended it #1.

Since then it has become a mess most of the time though. with the parade of slamless wannabee #1s who nobody considers the best players in the World

pjonesy
01-19-2011, 08:58 PM
I think it's pretty well-accepted that winning Grand Slam tournaments is a.) more important than being #1, and b.) more indicative of who is the best.

I agree. My questions were basically rhetorical. The WTA rankings send the message that you don't have to be the best to be ranked # 1. Which I do not think is the most honest representation of the sports competitive balance.

soyizgood
01-19-2011, 09:15 PM
I agree. My questions were basically rhetorical. The WTA rankings send the message that you don't have to be the best to be ranked # 1. Which I do not think is the most honest representation of the sports competitive balance.

Tha ATP and WTA ranking systems are quite similar. The big difference is that the top ATP players play year-round, pace themselves better, and are more consistent. None of those guys could take half the year off like Serena did and stay #1 for much of that time off. On the WTA, you have certain top players that treat tennis as a secondary occupation and feast on a few events while doing little outside of them.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 05:18 AM
Tha ATP and WTA ranking systems are quite similar. The big difference is that the top ATP players play year-round, pace themselves better, and are more consistent. None of those guys could take half the year off like Serena did and stay #1 for much of that time off. On the WTA, you have certain top players that treat tennis as a secondary occupation and feast on a few events while doing little outside of them.

I clearly understand that. But, it still does not diminish what i stated. The ATP ranking system has Nadal as the #1 player. He is absolutely the BEST player in the world, right now. He deserves the #1 ranking and is the best player. Wozniacki may deserve to be the #1 player in the world, but she is clearly NOT the BEST player in the world. Its not like this is some anomaly. We have seen this happen with 2 other players on the WTA tour.

Even if the ATP and WTA ranking systems are similar, it does not mean that the system cannot be improved. I understand that the ATP tour has had issues like this in the past. But, what is wrong with expecting the WTA ranking system to honestly reflect who is the best player in the world?

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 05:26 AM
Perhaps they wont but it is certainly worth trying to compromise and get something back from the other side. The current system rewarding people just for playing 30 tournaments is ridiculous. The WTA leaders live in a fantasy World if they think the players who target winning slams are going to play that much.

Now I do agree with this. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

equinox
01-20-2011, 06:38 AM
Stick a fork in her, she's done. She's reaching Vaidisova-like levels at this point.

agreed. she really needs to take 6 months completely away from the game. pickup a boyfriend and enjoy a normal life. then she come to a real hard decision about her future in the current game. no point wallowing in pity and confusion any longer for her.

vaidisova was pretty dismal before retiring. a great lose to the game and male viewing population when she bent over one final time.

ahh well 100 more hotties to replace her..

Bryan Swartz
01-20-2011, 07:14 AM
Even if the ATP and WTA ranking systems are similar, it does not mean that the system cannot be improved. I understand that the ATP tour has had issues like this in the past. But, what is wrong with expecting the WTA ranking system to honestly reflect who is the best player in the world?

What is wrong with it IMO is that the ranking system does, and should, reflect achievement, not ability. The only way to ensure a slam winner is #1 is to include Slams, and only slams, in the rankings. If you give other events any weight at all you allow for the possibility that a non-slam winner will be #1 when the slam winners have the kind of attitude toward the sport that the Williams sisters do.

The whole '#1 but not best' thing happens all the time in other sports and is completely understood. Tiger Woods misses half a year and he's not going to be #1 on the golf tour. A major basketball or football star misses half a year -- his team won't even make the playoffs. They certainly won't be #1 in the standings.

I honestly(with respect to the contrary opinions here) do not understand why such a big deal is being made out of this in tennis. To me, a system that wants to make the 'best' player #1, with no concern with whether their achievements even remotely approximate that position, is just silly.

li0scc0
01-20-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm not upset that you are defending Jankovic, but moments of brilliance? The only player that I can think of that never won a slam and had occasional moments of brilliance is Marcelo Rios. I'm sure I can think of a few others, but Jankovic would not be one.

I think she's got a great body, is very fit, moves well and is an excellent ball striker. But, like Safina and Wozniacki, she does not possess a weapon that can separate her from the pack. If Jankovic won a slam, I might have to change my tune.

When I watch Jankovic, I see (at times, not consistently enough of course!) a good serve, forehand, and backhand...all can be hit for winners. She moves well, is quick, and gets to balls. All of those = moments of brilliance.

That said, we very well may have different definitions of moments of brilliance :) I see moments of brilliance in Nalbandian's game as well, and no major there. :)

NadalAgassi
01-20-2011, 08:41 AM
I honestly(with respect to the contrary opinions here) do not understand why such a big deal is being made out of this in tennis. To me, a system that wants to make the 'best' player #1, with no concern with whether their achievements even remotely approximate that position, is just silly.

The player with the best achievements at the time is the best player at the time though. And in the past the best player almost always was ranked #1 with the exception of Hingis alot of 2001 and possibly 2000. I already broke that down. It is also recently that the non best people are getting to #1.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 10:22 AM
When I watch Jankovic, I see (at times, not consistently enough of course!) a good serve, forehand, and backhand...all can be hit for winners. She moves well, is quick, and gets to balls. All of those = moments of brilliance.

That said, we very well may have different definitions of moments of brilliance :) I see moments of brilliance in Nalbandian's game as well, and no major there. :)

Yes. We must have different definitions of moments of brilliance. I'm sure there are others, but the 1st name that pops in my head when I think of tennis brilliance without a major title, is Marcelo Rios.

Jankovic and Nalbandian are great athletes and great ball strikers. But Rios could make great players look like idiots. His point construction, timing, instincts and smooth, relaxed strokes, really made him stand out. Rios just made the game look so easy. Jankovic and Nalbandian do not make the game look easy. But, they both have great backhands, I'll give them that. Jankovic also has very nice legs. Not quite Graf brilliant, but very nice.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 11:38 AM
What is wrong with it IMO is that the ranking system does, and should, reflect achievement, not ability. The only way to ensure a slam winner is #1 is to include Slams, and only slams, in the rankings. If you give other events any weight at all you allow for the possibility that a non-slam winner will be #1 when the slam winners have the kind of attitude toward the sport that the Williams sisters do.

The whole '#1 but not best' thing happens all the time in other sports and is completely understood. Tiger Woods misses half a year and he's not going to be #1 on the golf tour. A major basketball or football star misses half a year -- his team won't even make the playoffs. They certainly won't be #1 in the standings.

I honestly(with respect to the contrary opinions here) do not understand why such a big deal is being made out of this in tennis. To me, a system that wants to make the 'best' player #1, with no concern with whether their achievements even remotely approximate that position, is just silly.

Look, if that's your opinion, so be it. I think I make a good case for why I don't like what the #1 player position represents on the WTA tour. Earlier, I think you made good points, by focusing on the attitudes of the WTA players affecting the number and types of tournaments in which they choose to play. You agreed with me that the revolving door of # 1 players on the WTA tour that have not won a major is not a good thing. But, to say that the structure of the ranking system is not responsible for the problem, is ignorant. Do you really like the fact that the elite players do not play but 1/2 the season? Do you think it makes sense for # 1 players to expect to be beaten by the BEST players in every grand slam tournament? If players are manipulating the system to benefit themselves, while hurting the overall product, why not take steps to stop that?! People want to see the best players, play each other. Not inferior players playing inferior players for over half the season and the best players just showing up for slams! Obviously, the elite players don't have a burning desire to be the #1 player and I think that is a problem.

Also, since you dared to compare tennis to team sport rankings, how about this. Its like saying a college football team that has won 10 straight non-bcs bowl games has achieved more than a team who has only been to 3 bowl games in the last 10 years, but won a national championship(finishing as the #1 team and classified as the BEST). A national championship is a bigger, more valuable achievement than winning multiple rinky dink bowl games every year and always finishing outside the top 10.

If you think that winning 10 Masters Series events is a bigger achievement than winning 1 Major, you are kidding yourself. Ask any player lacking a major, which they would rather have. If Safina never wins a major, do you think that her being #1 for a minute is as big of an achievement as Kuznetsova winning 2 majors? I say no. Like NadalAgassi said, there is room for compromise within the ranking system to bring the consistent players(and their attitudes) closer to the elite players(and their attitudes). But, implying that being the #1 player on the WTA tour (without a GS title) is indicative of more achievement, than a player who wins 2 slams in a year. Well, that's just silly.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 12:45 PM
What is wrong with it IMO is that the ranking system does, and should, reflect achievement, not ability. The only way to ensure a slam winner is #1 is to include Slams, and only slams, in the rankings. If you give other events any weight at all you allow for the possibility that a non-slam winner will be #1 when the slam winners have the kind of attitude toward the sport that the Williams sisters do.

The whole '#1 but not best' thing happens all the time in other sports and is completely understood. Tiger Woods misses half a year and he's not going to be #1 on the golf tour. A major basketball or football star misses half a year -- his team won't even make the playoffs. They certainly won't be #1 in the standings.

I honestly(with respect to the contrary opinions here) do not understand why such a big deal is being made out of this in tennis. To me, a system that wants to make the 'best' player #1, with no concern with whether their achievements even remotely approximate that position, is just silly.


Let me address this post with a little more composure, this time. There has to be a way for the WTA tour to help the consistent and elite players meet in the middle. Obviously, you want the elite players to play more lower tier events and you want the more consistent players to have more success against the elite players in the Grand Slams.

By having the elite players participate in lower tier events, you increase the exposure and monetary value of the tournament. If the consistent players have more matches with the elite players in tournaments that don't carry the pressure of GS matches, maybe they get a win that will give them the confidence to be more aggressive and competitive against those players in a GS setting.

I'm not saying I have all the answers. But if you want a different result and a solutions to these problems, the WTA has to take some kind of action. Sitting around passively and just hoping that the tour player's attitudes change, is not going to be effective.

Bryan Swartz
01-20-2011, 02:06 PM
pjonesy, I totally agree that what you want is for the top players to play more Premier and Tier I events. And I appreciate and respect the tone of your most recent post.

What we disagree on is the fact that the ranking system is the problem(I really think the comparision with the similar men's system in which the problem does not exist checkmates this argument, by itself).

There has to be a way for the WTA tour to help the consistent and elite players meet in the middle.

I'm all for this. But I don't really agree that there has to be a way. There already is an incentive in both points and money for them to play more events. What else can the WTA give them?

The system as it is already is basically a compromise between the two extremes(all events are equal vs. only Slams matter). I really don't think there's anything the WTA can give the top players who don't want to play the other events to make them want to do it. They don't want to be professional, full-time athletes: they want to turn it on and off.

Example from Serena Williams. A great poster child for the only-Slams-matter attitude. Here's here 2009 record in Slams:

AO: Champion
FO: QF
W: Champion
USO: SF

Now no other player came close to this overall in the Slams, and to top it off Serena wins the Tour finals as well. But what does she do in the other events(3 wins, a SF, and a QF in the big 5 mind you).

Sydney: semis, losing to Dementieva and taking only 4 games
Paris: semis, losing to Dementieva again(walkover)
Dubai: semis, losing to Venus in three
Miami: finals, losing to Azarenka, total of 4 games won
Rome: 2nd-round loss to Schnyder after a bye in the first round
Madrid: 1st-round loss, retires after dropping the first set to Schiavone
Stanford: QF loss to Stosur
Cincinatti: 3rd-round loss to Bammer
Toronto: SF loss, straight sets, to Dementieva
Beijing: 3rd-round loss to Petrova

She plays 15 events. That is not a huge, heavy schedule. Now, am I supposed to believe that she's good enough to win two slams and the tour championships, but not good enough to win ANY of the ten other events she enters, in fact only one final! Now of course that's ridiculous. So what happened? Serena is on record as having said she pretty much doesn't care about non-Slam events. She didn't bring her best effort. That's the only rational explanation.

I don't see how the WTA can make her care. It can change the ranking system so that the Slams aren't just the most important thing but the ONLY important thing, but that will only encourage other players to take Serena's attitude!

I'm open to all suggestions, but I really think the existing system already is a compromise -- the WTA(and the ATP) will never be any better than the competitive attitude of their players. And there is a huge gap on that right now. I've never heard of an idea that I think can improve this as far as the ranking system goes, but I'm open to them.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 03:55 PM
pjonesy, I totally agree that what you want is for the top players to play more Premier and Tier I events. And I appreciate and respect the tone of your most recent post.

What we disagree on is the fact that the ranking system is the problem(I really think the comparision with the similar men's system in which the problem does not exist checkmates this argument, by itself).



I'm all for this. But I don't really agree that there has to be a way. There already is an incentive in both points and money for them to play more events. What else can the WTA give them?

The system as it is already is basically a compromise between the two extremes(all events are equal vs. only Slams matter). I really don't think there's anything the WTA can give the top players who don't want to play the other events to make them want to do it. They don't want to be professional, full-time athletes: they want to turn it on and off.

Example from Serena Williams. A great poster child for the only-Slams-matter attitude. Here's here 2009 record in Slams:

AO: Champion
FO: QF
W: Champion
USO: SF

Now no other player came close to this overall in the Slams, and to top it off Serena wins the Tour finals as well. But what does she do in the other events(3 wins, a SF, and a QF in the big 5 mind you).

Sydney: semis, losing to Dementieva and taking only 4 games
Paris: semis, losing to Dementieva again(walkover)
Dubai: semis, losing to Venus in three
Miami: finals, losing to Azarenka, total of 4 games won
Rome: 2nd-round loss to Schnyder after a bye in the first round
Madrid: 1st-round loss, retires after dropping the first set to Schiavone
Stanford: QF loss to Stosur
Cincinatti: 3rd-round loss to Bammer
Toronto: SF loss, straight sets, to Dementieva
Beijing: 3rd-round loss to Petrova

She plays 15 events. That is not a huge, heavy schedule. Now, am I supposed to believe that she's good enough to win two slams and the tour championships, but not good enough to win ANY of the ten other events she enters, in fact only one final! Now of course that's ridiculous. So what happened? Serena is on record as having said she pretty much doesn't care about non-Slam events. She didn't bring her best effort. That's the only rational explanation.

I don't see how the WTA can make her care. It can change the ranking system so that the Slams aren't just the most important thing but the ONLY important thing, but that will only encourage other players to take Serena's attitude!

I'm open to all suggestions, but I really think the existing system already is a compromise -- the WTA(and the ATP) will never be any better than the competitive attitude of their players. And there is a huge gap on that right now. I've never heard of an idea that I think can improve this as far as the ranking system goes, but I'm open to them.

Okay. I'm not using the ATP rankings as an example of a perfect ranking system. Because both ranking systems are very similar in their structure and their function. What I am saying is that the ATP tour has a # 1 player that represents the tour as the best player in the world. I would just like to see that on the women's side.

It would be like Andy Murray being # 1 and still slamless. While Federer and Nadal win all the slams, are relegated to positions #2 and #3, and choose to play fewer events.

Its not personal, I would just like the WTA rankings to better represent the quality of players overall as opposed to the consistency of players in 2nd tier tournaments. Maybe there is no way to fix it. It will probably result in me continuing to NOT watch any women's tennis, outside of the slams.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 04:19 PM
pjonesy, I totally agree that what you want is for the top players to play more Premier and Tier I events. And I appreciate and respect the tone of your most recent post.

What we disagree on is the fact that the ranking system is the problem(I really think the comparision with the similar men's system in which the problem does not exist checkmates this argument, by itself).



I'm all for this. But I don't really agree that there has to be a way. There already is an incentive in both points and money for them to play more events. What else can the WTA give them?

The system as it is already is basically a compromise between the two extremes(all events are equal vs. only Slams matter). I really don't think there's anything the WTA can give the top players who don't want to play the other events to make them want to do it. They don't want to be professional, full-time athletes: they want to turn it on and off.

Example from Serena Williams. A great poster child for the only-Slams-matter attitude. Here's here 2009 record in Slams:

AO: Champion
FO: QF
W: Champion
USO: SF

Now no other player came close to this overall in the Slams, and to top it off Serena wins the Tour finals as well. But what does she do in the other events(3 wins, a SF, and a QF in the big 5 mind you).

Sydney: semis, losing to Dementieva and taking only 4 games
Paris: semis, losing to Dementieva again(walkover)
Dubai: semis, losing to Venus in three
Miami: finals, losing to Azarenka, total of 4 games won
Rome: 2nd-round loss to Schnyder after a bye in the first round
Madrid: 1st-round loss, retires after dropping the first set to Schiavone
Stanford: QF loss to Stosur
Cincinatti: 3rd-round loss to Bammer
Toronto: SF loss, straight sets, to Dementieva
Beijing: 3rd-round loss to Petrova

She plays 15 events. That is not a huge, heavy schedule. Now, am I supposed to believe that she's good enough to win two slams and the tour championships, but not good enough to win ANY of the ten other events she enters, in fact only one final! Now of course that's ridiculous. So what happened? Serena is on record as having said she pretty much doesn't care about non-Slam events. She didn't bring her best effort. That's the only rational explanation.

I don't see how the WTA can make her care. It can change the ranking system so that the Slams aren't just the most important thing but the ONLY important thing, but that will only encourage other players to take Serena's attitude! I'm open to all suggestions, but I really think the existing system already is a compromise -- the WTA(and the ATP) will never be any better than the competitive attitude of their players. And there is a huge gap on that right now. I've never heard of an idea that I think can improve this as far as the ranking system goes, but I'm open to them.

Forgot to address this in the previous post. Let me see if I understand your position and the dilemma with the ranking system. Straight forward logic would tell me that making the slams the only important tournament would lead to more competitive desire from all players on the tour. Are you saying that if this was the case, more elite players would take Serena's attitude and separate themselves from the consistent players even more? Would this not motivate the up and coming conisistent players to step up or be weeded out as players that are not worthy to be competing to WIN slams? Or are you saying that if you barely count the existing tournaments in the rankings, outside of the slams, then the tour cannot support those tournaments or the players that win them?

Bryan Swartz
01-20-2011, 05:37 PM
I'm not using the ATP rankings as an example of a perfect ranking system. Because both ranking systems are very similar in their structure and their function. What I am saying is that the ATP tour has a # 1 player that represents the tour as the best player in the world. I would just like to see that on the women's side.

It would be like Andy Murray being # 1 and still slamless. While Federer and Nadal win all the slams, are relegated to positions #2 and #3, and choose to play fewer events.

I don't think the ATP system is perfect either. But what I don't understand is how you can say the system is the problem, when clearly the difference between the two(you like the results one gives, and not the results the other gives) is in the players and not the ranking system.

Psychologically, I understand wanting to 'fix' the WTA. But I really think only the players themselves can do that.

Straight forward logic would tell me that making the slams the only important tournament would lead to more competitive desire from all players on the tour.

Disagree. I think they already want to win Slams and try their best to do so. Changing the points isn't going to significantly increase this competitive desire.

Are you saying that if this was the case, more elite players would take Serena's attitude and separate themselves from the consistent players even more? Would this not motivate the up and coming conisistent players to step up or be weeded out as players that are not worthy to be competing to WIN slams?

Or are you saying that if you barely count the existing tournaments in the rankings, outside of the slams, then the tour cannot support those tournaments or the players that win them?

The second one.

I don't see how any of this is going to motivate up-and-coming players to win slams more. Do you think players like Zvonareva, Wozniacki, Safina, Jankovic, etc. haven't won slams because they don't have enough motivation/desire to? I certainly do not think the way.

What I'm saying is that if Slams are the only tournaments that really matter as far as the top rankings go(you'd have to make them like 90-95% of the points in order to do this), more players will act like Serena. You'll kill the mid-level and smaller events, because the top players will only have to play Slams. Unless they need/want the money, they won't play the others. Zvonareva, Wozniacki etc. will play less of the non-Slam events. Some will die, others will reduce their purses. The sport will decline.

The other direction needs to be encouraged(players like Serena playing more events, not the top players who do play a lot of events playing less). But increasing Slam importance in the rankings will have the opposite effect. To the degree that Slams are more dominant, the other events will have less importance and therefore will have less, not more, top player participation.

One other thing to consider. Even if the Slams were all that mattered, you still can't stop a slamless #1 necessarily. For example, say you take only the points from Slams from last year.

Serena Williams: 4500
Caroline Wozniacki: 1960

Huge gap there, obviously. But, Serena is missing the AO and can't defend here title. So she drops to 2500. If Wozniacki makes the final and loses, she will move up to 3080. Mind you she still hasn't won a Slam. Serena has(Wimbledon). But Wozniacki is still ahead of her. You still have a slamless #1.

pjonesy
01-20-2011, 06:33 PM
I don't think the ATP system is perfect either. But what I don't understand is how you can say the system is the problem, when clearly the difference between the two(you like the results one gives, and not the results the other gives) is in the players and not the ranking system.

Psychologically, I understand wanting to 'fix' the WTA. But I really think only the players themselves can do that.



Disagree. I think they already want to win Slams and try their best to do so. Changing the points isn't going to significantly increase this competitive desire.



The second one.

I don't see how any of this is going to motivate up-and-coming players to win slams more. Do you think players like Zvonareva, Wozniacki, Safina, Jankovic, etc. haven't won slams because they don't have enough motivation/desire to? I certainly do not think the way.

What I'm saying is that if Slams are the only tournaments that really matter as far as the top rankings go(you'd have to make them like 90-95% of the points in order to do this), more players will act like Serena. You'll kill the mid-level and smaller events, because the top players will only have to play Slams. Unless they need/want the money, they won't play the others. Zvonareva, Wozniacki etc. will play less of the non-Slam events. Some will die, others will reduce their purses. The sport will decline.

The other direction needs to be encouraged(players like Serena playing more events, not the top players who do play a lot of events playing less). But increasing Slam importance in the rankings will have the opposite effect. To the degree that Slams are more dominant, the other events will have less importance and therefore will have less, not more, top player participation.

One other thing to consider. Even if the Slams were all that mattered, you still can't stop a slamless #1 necessarily. For example, say you take only the points from Slams from last year.

Serena Williams: 4500
Caroline Wozniacki: 1960

Huge gap there, obviously. But, Serena is missing the AO and can't defend here title. So she drops to 2500. If Wozniacki makes the final and loses, she will move up to 3080. Mind you she still hasn't won a Slam. Serena has(Wimbledon). But Wozniacki is still ahead of her. You still have a slamless #1.


I was using that first question to set up your platform. Playing devil's advocate with that one. Obviously, straight ahead logic does not exist in today's tennis world.

I'm not saying that the ranking system is THE problem. I have already agreed that the biggest factor is the player's attitudes. What I am saying is that the ranking system is allowing this to happen. It is not working the way I think it should. Griping about it (like I am) and saying nothing can be done about it (like you are) is not going to change anything. When math in its simplest form cannot reflect measurable data, we create formulas to adapt the information so that we can use it. There have got to be smarter people than you and I that can figure something out. You seem to understand the ranking system better than most. I don't have the answers, but I know what I don't like. I'm not sure what you want me to say. That you're right and nothing can be done about it? Okay. You're right. But, do you think something CAN be done about it in the future? Have they made any major changes in the last 3 years to qualify the rankings?

No hard feelings. No personal animosity. Good discussion. This is my last 2 cents. Okay. I get your concern about this not being a motivational issue as far as the consistent players are concerned. But if they get weeded out in the slams, that is the way it goes. It is survival of the fittest (or maybe the best, in this case). Looks like the bigger issue is the other side of the coin. How do you budge Serena out of her comfortable position? Looks like you don't. The rich get richer. The poor get the #1 ranking.

NadalAgassi
01-20-2011, 06:46 PM
One other thing to consider. Even if the Slams were all that mattered, you still can't stop a slamless #1 necessarily. For example, say you take only the points from Slams from last year.

Serena Williams: 4500
Caroline Wozniacki: 1960

Huge gap there, obviously. But, Serena is missing the AO and can't defend here title. So she drops to 2500. If Wozniacki makes the final and loses, she will move up to 3080. Mind you she still hasn't won a Slam. Serena has(Wimbledon). But Wozniacki is still ahead of her. You still have a slamless #1.

Ummm no. Kim won the U.S Open last year. That is 2000 points. If she even makes the final she is at over 3000 from the 2 events alone, if she wins the title (quite likely) she is at 4000 from those 2 events alone. Plus her points from her quarterfinal at Wimbledon. And Kim won bigger regular WTA tournaments (WTA Champoinships and Miami) than Woz has too.

Bryan Swartz
01-20-2011, 07:34 PM
Ummm no. Kim won the U.S Open last year. That is 2000 points. If she even makes the final she is at over 3000 from the 2 events alone, if she wins the title (quite likely) she is at 4000 from those 2 events alone. Plus her points from her quarterfinal at Wimbledon. And Kim won bigger regular WTA tournaments (WTA Champoinships and Miami) than Woz has too.

Kim isn't part of the comparison though. I think you missed the point I was making -- which is that even if only Slams count, you can still have a #1 who didn't win one.

DMan
01-20-2011, 11:54 PM
Kim isn't part of the comparison though. I think you missed the point I was making -- which is that even if only Slams count, you can still have a #1 who didn't win one.

So the majors are major, but they're not really majors, cause minors count more than majors?

Confusing? Should be.....just like the WTA ranking system.

Ironically, the WTA used to have the fairest ranking system. And then got rid of it!

But the WTA has had a huge credibility gap ever since they went to a "amass the most points, and discount bad losses system.

A few glaring examples:

In 197, right after the change from average system to most points, Steffi Graf was the holder of the French, Wimbledon, US Open, and WTA Tour Championships. She didn't play a whole lot of tournaments due to injuries. Yet in March 1997, Martina Hingis, with the Australian Open title, and a 1-3 record vs Graf (including losses at Wimbledon, the US Open, WTA Tour Championships), a 17-3 record in the majors versus Graf's 24-1 record in the majors, was ranked #1. Imagine that: the holder of 3 of the 4 majors was ranked #1! To note, it wouldn't have happened in March 1997 if the WTA continued with the average system!

Hingis again, in 2000, maintained the #1 ranking throughout most of the year, even though she won no major. Venus Williams, Wimbledon US Open and Olympic champion, never got close to #1, even though most everyone considered her the best player for the year.

Hingis continued to be ranked #1 all the way until October of that year, even though again she held no major title. She reached one major final, and had a 1R loss at Wimbledon. And won no tour title. And was still ranked #1. Being #1 is supposed to mean consistently losing to your biggest rivals at the biggest events of the year? And losing badly to them too? And 2001 saw Davenport finish #1, even though Lindsay did not even reach a major final!

Lindsay would repeat that feat in 2004, when she finished #1 even though her best result in a major was a SF appearance at Wimbledon.

In 2005, Lindsay choked away 2 major finals (heck, at least she got to 2 major finals), but still finished #1. Woo-hoo ? Not!

In 2008 Jankovic reached the #1 spot, but of course had no major title to her credit.

Do we even want to bring up the name of Dinara Safina? That name alone does so much damage to the credibility of women's tennis. An insult to players like Sabatini, Mandlikova, Martinez, Wade who were never ranked #1.

And now the WTA's top 2 players are Wozniacki and Zvereva. Who?

Bryan Swartz
01-21-2011, 05:26 AM
So the majors are major, but they're not really majors, cause minors count more than majors?

That isn't what I said at all. Nothing I said in what you quoted said anything about minors at all. I talked only about the Slams.

As far as the rest -- we've covered this in the other thread. I'm still waiting for your response there.

pjonesy
01-21-2011, 08:53 AM
That isn't what I said at all. Nothing I said in what you quoted said anything about minors at all. I talked only about the Slams.

As far as the rest -- we've covered this in the other thread. I'm still waiting for your response there.

Fill me in on what you are referring to. Looks like you're getting a little defensive, big mouth.

pjonesy
01-21-2011, 10:30 AM
So the majors are major, but they're not really majors, cause minors count more than majors?

Confusing? Should be.....just like the WTA ranking system.

Ironically, the WTA used to have the fairest ranking system. And then got rid of it!

But the WTA has had a huge credibility gap ever since they went to a "amass the most points, and discount bad losses system.

A few glaring examples:

In 197, right after the change from average system to most points, Steffi Graf was the holder of the French, Wimbledon, US Open, and WTA Tour Championships. She didn't play a whole lot of tournaments due to injuries. Yet in March 1997, Martina Hingis, with the Australian Open title, and a 1-3 record vs Graf (including losses at Wimbledon, the US Open, WTA Tour Championships), a 17-3 record in the majors versus Graf's 24-1 record in the majors, was ranked #1. Imagine that: the holder of 3 of the 4 majors was ranked #1! To note, it wouldn't have happened in March 1997 if the WTA continued with the average system!

Hingis again, in 2000, maintained the #1 ranking throughout most of the year, even though she won no major. Venus Williams, Wimbledon US Open and Olympic champion, never got close to #1, even though most everyone considered her the best player for the year.

Hingis continued to be ranked #1 all the way until October of that year, even though again she held no major title. She reached one major final, and had a 1R loss at Wimbledon. And won no tour title. And was still ranked #1. Being #1 is supposed to mean consistently losing to your biggest rivals at the biggest events of the year? And losing badly to them too? And 2001 saw Davenport finish #1, even though Lindsay did not even reach a major final!

Lindsay would repeat that feat in 2004, when she finished #1 even though her best result in a major was a SF appearance at Wimbledon.

In 2005, Lindsay choked away 2 major finals (heck, at least she got to 2 major finals), but still finished #1. Woo-hoo ? Not!

In 2008 Jankovic reached the #1 spot, but of course had no major title to her credit.

Do we even want to bring up the name of Dinara Safina? That name alone does so much damage to the credibility of women's tennis. An insult to players like Sabatini, Mandlikova, Martinez, Wade who were never ranked #1.

And now the WTA's top 2 players are Wozniacki and Zvereva. Who?

That is my entire issue, right there!

It's more than just having consistent players and elite players. Its like having 2 separate tours. The, "I'm happy to be winning tournaments that the best players either skip completely or don't put forth a competitive effort", division. Or, "I'm gonna save my myself for the grand slams, which i will win", division. That is bull*hit! Why can't I expect something better than that? I just don't care about watching Wozniacki play Zvonereva! I like to look at Wozniacki, but her tennis is bland. I'm not sure if I could even pick Zvonereva out of a lineup. Her tennis definitely does not stand out!

Bryan Swartz
01-21-2011, 10:31 AM
I don't see how anything I said is defensive -- I pointed out that what he said bears no relationship to what I was saying in the part he quoted. I also don't see the use in having the debate with him in multiple different threads.

Anyway, the other one is here:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=351249&page=7

Bryan Swartz
01-21-2011, 10:44 AM
I just don't care about watching Wozniacki play Zvonereva! I like to look at Wozniacki, but her tennis is bland. I'm not sure if I could even pick Zvonereva out of a lineup. Her tennis definitely does not stand out!

It needs to be pointed out that this is completely irrelevant. Whether you like a players style or not has absolutely nothing to do with where they should be ranked.

If you think Wozniacki and Zvonareva are irrelevant as the two of you do, what were you watching last year in the big events? Zvonareva made two Slam finals(Wimbledon and US Open), and up until the final was the most impressive player at the USO. She also was a semifinalist at the WTF.

Wozniacki was in the QF at the French, SF at the USO, finalist at the WTF, in addition to her generally excellent record at other events.

It's not as if these players are consistently bowing out meekly in the early round at majors and just cleaning up at mickey-mouse events. I just don't get this 'two-division' argument.