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View Full Version : My Idea for a New WTA Ranking System Is...


vandre
01-19-2011, 04:34 AM
there's a lot of threadjacks around here by people complaining about the WTA ranking system and how certain players should've never been #1 and so on and so forth. This thread is an opportunity for you to set forth your ideas of how you would rank WTA players. Enjoy and play nice!

imajica77
01-19-2011, 09:28 PM
There is nothing wrong with the current system that is in place. As Muster once said "it's not like I'm going to the supermarket and buy points". The system rewards the players who play more and are more consistant. And I for one think they should be rewarded for that. Why should someone who plays 5 or 6 tournaments think they should be the real number one. Now thats the real joke.

DMan
01-19-2011, 10:12 PM
See this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=351249&highlight=ranking&page=6

DMan
01-19-2011, 10:13 PM
This needs to be repeated:

An average ranking system is the only, only, ONLY fair ranking system. Who care, I mean who cares how many points you've earned? If it's just a mass amalgamation of points.....what's the point?

Penalizing players for playing every tournament? Just why is a pro player playing in every tournament anyway?

And why, someone with half a brain, tell me it's OK to discount your worst results? Why/How is that a fair system? When fans see a top player tank an early round match, is it publicized after the match (or heaven forbid in the presser) that said player's lousy result WILL NOT COUNT AGAINST THEM IN THE RANKINGS?

How would the fans and media feel if THE TRUTH were published? That many results are simply tossed out?

Eliminating or reducing points for smaller tournaments? Who said anything about that?

Serena has been injured since Wimbledon. She would have had to play a minimal amount since then to still maintain her true ranking - #1.

The current WTA ranking system is the problem.

The current WTA ranking system is the problem.

The current WTA ranking system is the problem.

How else to explain that since 2000, half of the year end #1s were players who did not even win one of the four majors during the year??? And 2010 was not even unique in that the #1 ranked player didn't even reach the final of a single major!!!!!

Tsonga#1fan
01-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Have an 'injury report" similar to men's contact sports. Some of the gals want to play part time, some are more committed to supporting their own tour than others. As stupid as this will sound, If any of them are "on the rag" I think that should be common knowledge as it will affect them physically and as fotr those that don't support (show up on a regular basis) that means they are trying to get an edge off of that!......sounds crazy, but women use that stuff all the time to try to get an advantage!

Bryan Swartz
01-20-2011, 06:23 AM
DMan, I've answered your argument in detail here:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=351249&page=6

You chose not to respond. Feel free to respond to it here or there, but simply repeating the same argument while ignoring what others have said about it serves no useful purpose.

Max G.
01-20-2011, 11:37 AM
This needs to be repeated:

An average ranking system is the only, only, ONLY fair ranking system. Who care, I mean who cares how many points you've earned? If it's just a mass amalgamation of points.....what's the point?

Penalizing players for playing every tournament? Just why is a pro player playing in every tournament anyway?


You forget one thing - a ranking system has to work well EVEN WHEN THE PLAYERS TRY TO GAME THE SYSTEM.

Under your system, if a player has a great result... It's to their advantage to play AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE so that their ranking doesn't drop.

Under that system, that leads to players who suck on clay skipping the entire claycourt season, and claycourt specialists skipping the grasscourt season and possibly all of the hardcourt events.

Remember, as well as ranking the players, the ranking system has to serve as an INCENTIVE for them - players will do what it takes to raise their ranking. And any system in which NOT PLAYING is better for their ranking than playing will lead to terrible seasons and huge absences for top players.


And why, someone with half a brain, tell me it's OK to discount your worst results? Why/How is that a fair system?

Because it encourages players to play even on surfaces other than their best.

When fans see a top player tank an early round match, is it publicized after the match (or heaven forbid in the presser) that said player's lousy result WILL NOT COUNT AGAINST THEM IN THE RANKINGS?

Erm, yes, the ATP and WTA rulebooks are public knowledge.

How would the fans and media feel if THE TRUTH were published? That many results are simply tossed out?

The truth IS published. You can, in fact look at exactly how many results for each player counted and didn't.

DMan
01-20-2011, 05:10 PM
You forget one thing - a ranking system has to work well EVEN WHEN THE PLAYERS TRY TO GAME THE SYSTEM.

Under your system, if a player has a great result... It's to their advantage to play AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE so that their ranking doesn't drop.

A ranking system, that has a minimum divisor, of say 12 or 14 tournaments, and was a rolling 52 week system, would not enable a player to play a slittle as possible, and still hold up their ranking. I even propose they use the WTA ranking system, circa 1984, that discounted points by 50% after 6 months, because it would place a higher value on recent results.

Under that system, that leads to players who suck on clay skipping the entire claycourt season, and claycourt specialists skipping the grasscourt season and possibly all of the hardcourt events.

This makes no sense.

Remember, as well as ranking the players, the ranking system has to serve as an INCENTIVE for them - players will do what it takes to raise their ranking. And any system in which NOT PLAYING is better for their ranking than playing will lead to terrible seasons and huge absences for top players.

A higher ranking should serve as an incentive. I'll tell you what doesn't help in fair system:

Playing tournaments that you know will not harm your ranking!




Because it encourages players to play even on surfaces other than their best.

Exactly what encourages a player to compete on a surface other than their best? A system that allows you to throw out several bad results? [The system currently employed, BTW] Interesting, because it's a risk-averse situation: if you know you won't be penalized, then there is no risk in playing on a surface you may not have as much success. That really speaks to the integrity of the ranking system, the pro tours, and the players themselves, doesn't it??



Erm, yes, the ATP and WTA rulebooks are public knowledge.

The rulebooks are public knowledge. But how many folks walk around with the ATP and WTA rulebooks in their back pockets? Or on their ipads? And if we have such a wonderfully fair system, why acn't the WTA and ATP publicize in big bold letters, and also announce in the press conferences, so it gets reported, that a loss by a player (especially those that get paid appearance fees to compete in regular tour events) don't count int he rankings? I mean do you ever hear at the conclusion of a MLB game that the loss by the NY Yankees to the Red Sox won't count? That the Jets beating the Patriots in a regular season NFL game won;t count in the standings? That a bad round, or even one bad hole in a pro golf tournament won;t affect your score? Why then, does pro tennis have a system whereby bad results don't count?



The truth IS published. You can, in fact look at exactly how many results for each player counted and didn't.

Show me an easy-to-access place where all pro results are detailed, and it specifically states which bad results don't count. And show me one article that has ever been published where it specifically mentions a bad result, especially by a top player, will not count in the rankings.

And, since you are not a fan of the average ranking system, exactly what would be a fair system?

Max G.
01-20-2011, 10:55 PM
A ranking system, that has a minimum divisor, of say 12 or 14 tournaments, and was a rolling 52 week system, would not enable a player to play a slittle as possible, and still hold up their ranking.

Sure, that would require 12-14 tournaments. That's fine.

I even propose they use the WTA ranking system, circa 1984, that discounted points by 50% after 6 months, because it would place a higher value on recent results.

The Australian Open would never go for that - it would relegate the AO to being a second-class Slam. Because of the fact that people focus on year-end #1 and not on middle-of-june #1, it would make tournaments in the first half of the year be effectively second-class.



This makes no sense.

If you make playing and losing be worse for your ranking than not playing at all, then players will prefer not to play instead of playing in tournaments where they expect to do worse than average.



A higher ranking should serve as an incentive.

Exactly. In your system, a claycourt specialist playing in a grasscourt tournament would NOT expect to raise their ranking - they'd expect their ranking to FALL. If a player is better in some conditions than others, playing in less-than-optimal conditions would lower their average performance. So it's an incentive to play in some tournaments, but an incentive to SKIP others.

I'll tell you what doesn't help in fair system:

Playing tournaments that you know will not harm your ranking!

Might not help in a "fair system", but it DOES help in REALITY, where we need incentives for players to play tournaments rather than skip everything like Serena does.

Exactly what encourages a player to compete on a surface other than their best? A system that allows you to throw out several bad results? [The system currently employed, BTW] Interesting, because it's a risk-averse situation: if you know you won't be penalized, then there is no risk in playing on a surface you may not have as much success.

Yep, exactly.


That really speaks to the integrity of the ranking system, the pro tours, and the players themselves, doesn't it??

Huh? Why does that speak to the integrity of anything?

The players are there to make money. Getting a higher ranking gets them better endorsements and acceptances to tournaments which pay more, so they're going to do what it takes to raise their ranking. If that means playing a lot then they'll play a lot. If that means playing little, it means they'll have to make a trade-off between skipping tournaments (to prevent their rankings from falling due to a bad result) and playing more (to make money). Why is either of those an "integrity" issue?



The rulebooks are public knowledge. But how many folks walk around with the ATP and WTA rulebooks in their back pockets? Or on their ipads?

Nobody, because anybody who cares can look it up on the internet.

And if we have such a wonderfully fair system, why acn't the WTA and ATP publicize in big bold letters, and also announce in the press conferences, so it gets reported, that a loss by a player (especially those that get paid appearance fees to compete in regular tour events) don't count int he rankings?

Er, why is this something which is significant and needs to be publicized in big bold letters after each match?

Whenever the effect of a win or loss is going to be significant, it gets reported. "If he loses here, he loses his #1 spot!" or "if guy 2 wins here, he breaks into the top 20!" Whenever the effect isn't going to be significant, it doesn't get reported, because "nothing happens" isn't interesting news, doesn't make a good headline, and nobody cares.

I mean do you ever hear at the conclusion of a MLB game that the loss by the NY Yankees to the Red Sox won't count? That the Jets beating the Patriots in a regular season NFL game won;t count in the standings? That a bad round, or even one bad hole in a pro golf tournament won;t affect your score? Why then, does pro tennis have a system whereby bad results don't count?

I don't follow any of those closely, so I can't be sure. However, I suspect that in MLB or NFL, NOT PLAYING a tournament isn't an option - it's not like a team can opt out of a season!

I don't know about golf. Perhaps they have a more centralized tournament association so that there isn't issues with top players not playing in lower tournaments, or perhaps

Show me an easy-to-access place where all pro results are detailed, and it specifically states which bad results don't count.

For the ATP, you can go to any player's profile and click on "rankings breakdown". It'll then show you all the points for all the tournaments, including a set labeled as "non-countable tournaments" which don't count towards the rankings. Can't find something similar for the WTA. Is there a rankings breakdown page somewhere, or did they just not make one? Don't know.

And show me one article that has ever been published where it specifically mentions a bad result, especially by a top player, will not count in the rankings.

Doubt it's happened. One, because nobody cares - "nothing changes" isn't interesting news. Two, because you don't actually know that a tournament is never going to count - if they play fewer tournaments in the future, any given tournament might be counted later.

And, since you are not a fan of the average ranking system, exactly what would be a fair system?

Beats me. Don't think there is one. Any system has to deal with a bunch of goals which fundamentally conflict - it has to serve both as a measure of how well players have done, AND serve as an incentive system. Those two fundamentally conflict - any system in which NOT PLAYING is better than playing and losing isn't a very good incentive system, but it's true that discounting losses will make it less accurate as a ranking system.

I think the incentives side just as important, actually - what number is assigned to the players isn't as critical as the fact that those players play in tournaments and so we get to watch them!

For the top tournaments (the Grand Slams, and the top level after GS which is named differently in the WTA and ATP) results can't be discounted - if you're accepted, they count. They can just make that small number of tournaments required.

However, there's a big enough pool of small tournaments that players get to choose which other ones to play in and which to skip. That's why it has to be structured like that - because otherwise, all those lower tournaments would suddenly have a hell of a harder time getting players to participate.

Max G.
01-20-2011, 11:13 PM
Hmm, I noticed one more problem to an 'average points' system. I wonder how Golf gets around it. There might be a mathematical way.

If a player earns more than points on average (from major tournaments) than they'd get for winning a small tournament, then there's no incentive for them to play... EVEN IF they expect to win! So winning a tournament would bring down their ranking! There's got to be some fix for that, though...

Max G.
01-20-2011, 11:30 PM
Actually, I did find something I think would make the current system better - have more of the tournaments be mandatory and unskippable, in the WTA.

In the ATP right now, 18 tournaments are counted; 13 of those are mandatory for top players. So all the variability of optional and droppable tournaments is limited to 5 events (for players ranked high enough to get into the mandatory ones); so the MOST you could possibly gain from that category is far less than you can get from the mandatory category. (Also, the highest point value achievable from a non-mandatory tournament is 500, which is half that of what you can get from a mandatory Masters 1000). A player who consistently plays well is going to have a big advantage over someone who wants to drop a lot of results, because you can't drop Grand Slams or Masters, which are worth more points and which there are more of in the ranking.

In the WTA, it seems like the number of countable tournaments is 16, but the number of required tournaments is only 8 - there's four required Grand Slams and four Premier Mandatory events. Well, plus the WTA tour championships, which makes it 9/16. But still that's just one tournament over half - there's 7 which are in the floating zone. And some of those can be high-valued, too! Premier tournaments, which are optional, can be worth up to 900 points for a win (GS are 2000, Premier Mandatory are 1000).

So that would be a quick fix. Promote a few of those Premier tournaments to Premier Mandatory - that increases the number of tournaments that players have to play and cannot drop. Lower the point value of the remainder - so that the highest-rated optional tournaments aren't as good as the mandatory ones anyway. Together, this would increase the importance of being able to play well at *every* tournament (since the players would be playing more tournaments that they cannot drop).

However, it would preserve the fact that playing lots of small tournaments is good for your ranking - just that the effect would be smaller. So you'd still have the right incentive structure, for players to play as much as they feel like.