Open era ranking based on the Slams + Season end finals

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Miami

    I agree that Miami in the late 80's and the early 90's was a level above the rest of the Masters 1000's. However, I have already put Miami in with the rest of the Masters 1000's.
     
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Miami, the ATP real Championship, while London is more the ATP finals.You have 6 big events and 2 in the US, 3 in Europe and 1 in Australia.In the 70´s and 80´s you had 3 majors in US, 2 in Europe and 1 in Australia.Pretty well evened, isn´t it?

    I know this is going to be out of this thread but, my ideal world is 2 main events in the uS, 2 in Europe and 2 in Asia/pacific.Thus, the best place for the Masters, IMO, would be Tokyo, one of the world´s greatest cities, and not London (which already hosts Wimbledon).

    Tokyo is a far better place than Shangai or Beijing, a lot more tradition and a pretty more experienced crowd.In fact, it hosted the first Masters.
     
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  3. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Comparing Open era players using their 'big 5 events' including WCT finals

    As mentioned before, players pre-mid 1985 tending to only play 3 Slams a year versus players today playing 4. There is also the other issue of the WCT finals which was a very important event and the need to include it. Players shouldn't get 6 events where they can gain points in this methodology because that would be unfair to modern players who only get 5 events where they can gain points. The solution proposed is to ONLY include Dallas if a player who won the WCT finals didn't play all the slams in that year. That way the modern players are not disadvantaged. So for example, Lendl's 1982 WCT finals win gets included because he didn't play all the slams that year but his 1985 win doesn't get included because he played all the slams that year. In McEnroe's case 4 out of 5 of his WCT finals get included as he played all the slams in 1983 when he won the 1983 Dallas event.

    Slams + Season End Finals and WCT finals (only if the player didn't play all the Slams that year) + Losing Finals in Slams + Masters 1000 equivalents, with a weighting factor depending on the importance of the event ie 2 x for slams, 1.5 for Season end finals (including WCT finals), 1.2 for Losing slam finals, 1 x for Masters 1000 equivalents

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (6 x 1.5) + (7 x 1.2) + (20 x 1) = 71.4

    Lendl = (8 x 2) + ((5 +1) x 1.5)) + (11 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) = 60.3

    Sampras = (14 x 2) + (5 x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (11 x 1) = 51.3

    Nadal = (11 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (5 x 1.2) + (21 x 1) = 49

    McEnroe (7 x 2) + ((3 + 4) x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (19 x 1) = 48.3

    Borg = (11 x 2) + ((2 + 1) x 1.5)) + (5 x 1.2) + (15 x 1) = 47.5

    Connors = (8 x 2) + ((1 + 2) x 1.5)) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 45.9

    Agassi = (8 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 42.9

    Becker = (6 x 2) + ((3 +1) x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (13 x 1) = 34.3

    Edberg = (6 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (5 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 27.5

    Djokovic = (5 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (3 x 1.2) + (12 x 1) = 27.1

    Wilander = (7 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (4 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 26.8

    Well as you would expect McEnroe is the big beneficiary of this change. I think it is intuitively correct that he moves up above Agassi. (Remember all of the WCT finals were regarded as big wins back in the day and should be recognised). However, he is now a nose ahead of Borg. Hmm..... Connors moves ahead of Agassi. Becker widens his gap on Edberg and Djokovic - which I think is correct because it recognizes the importance of indoor events in the 80's and 90's tennis where Becker was one of the dominant players.

    So what do you think? This shows, with appropriate weightings, a players career in events that are at least Masters 1000 equivalents - relative to other players in the Open era. The only controversial element I think is the weighting of the events. I realize that different events were weighted differently throughout the open era. But which weighting to do choose? The weighting of the 90's or the 80's? We could debate for hours. The only sane way forward seems to be to make a call and choose the current ATP weightings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
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  4. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Okay Grand Slam Cups?

    This is a controversial event. I saw most of these events on TV in the 1990's. In my view they were no less hardly fort than the WCT finals. Players were going all out to win this. It is interesting that the ATP now recognize it as an event than goes on a players tournament wins totals - but at the time they didn't.

    My view is that because of the ITF recognizing the event throughout its history (it was after all their event) and the ATP retrospectively recognizing the event - one can hardly say that it was simply an exhibition. If you watch the players playing it - they were playing it to win. And there were a lot of best of five set matches - what exhibition these days has best of five?

    If we did include it - then that would add 3 points to Sampras' total and 1.5 points to Becker's total if we weighted it the same as a season end chanpionship or WCT final.

    But I can understand if people don't think it should be included. The whole point of this attempt is to get away from controversy - and just use the raw objective data.
     
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Laver

    Here's an interesting statistic.

    If you use the same methodology to Laver's Open era career.

    (Slams x 2) + (Season End Finals x 1.5) + (Losing Slam Finalist x 1.2) + (Masters 1000 equivalents x 1)

    (5 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.2) + (14 x 1) = 25.2

    That means that from the age of nearly 30 (French Open 1968) to nearly 36 he had almost as much career achievement as Wilander and Djokovic have to date!

    These are the Masters 1000's equivalents I have for Laver (I don't think there is anything controversial here):

    1968 Los Angeles (PSW Open)
    1969 Philadelphia
    1969 South African Open
    1969 Boston (US Pro)
    1969 Wembley
    1970 Johannesburg
    1970 Sydney
    1970 Los Angeles (PSW Open)
    1970 Wembley
    1970 Philadelphia
    1971 Rome
    1972 Philadelphia
    1974 Philadelphia
    1974 Las Vegas

    I didn't put Laver into the overall list because it wasn't fair to him since the majority of his career is pre-open era. Whereas all the other players on the list have had all their careers in the open era.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What I meant was:

    1970 and 1980´s: Wimbledon,Roland Garros and US Open give the winner 10 points and the runner up 5 points

    Masters,WCT Finals and AO give the winner 7 points.

    1990 and 2000: The 4 slams, winner 10 and finalist 5

    Masters/ATP Finals and Miami ATP Championships, the winner 7 points

    Gran Slam Cup, as much coveted as it was, is the biggest ever non offical or exhibitional event but not in the same league.

    If you want to round it up with Masters Series ( from 1990) or Superseries ( from 1970 till 1989) my choice is:

    Supernine events from 1990 onwards vs the 1970-1989 top 9 events, not majors, which are

    Montecarlo,Hamburg and Rome on clay
    Toronto,Palm Springs and Johannesburg on hard
    Philadelphia, Tokyo Indoors and Wembley or Stockholm indoors

    - although some years, I could also include Boston,Indy,Memphis,Milan,Barcelona,Las Vegas and LA as part of the top 9 Superseries events prior to 1990-.

    The winner of these tier events would have 3 points.

    What do you think?
     
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  7. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    You can add weeks at #1.

    For every 52 weeks add 1 point.

    Its not much but the players get something for a stat that always plays a part in evaluating a resume of the player.
     
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  8. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    This would work for players from the past two decades ,but the weekly rankings published in the 1970's were not particularly reliable.
     
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Couple of things about whether to include the number 1 rank in the formula

    There is a couple of things about including ranking in the formula that makes me what to avoid it.

    1/ We only have the weekly rankings from August of 1973. That mean that we have April 1968 (beginning of the Open era) to August 1973 (beginning of the ATP weekly rankings been recorded) not accounted for in the weekly rankings. On the other hand, given the list of players who appear on the list we have prepared none of them were number 1 in any shape or form before August 1973.

    2/ There are some many other variable. For instance, no one would rank Roddick's career over Becker, even though Roddick had more weeks at number 1. In fact no-one would rank Hewitts career over Becker, even though Hewitt had two year end finishes at number one and has many more weeks in that slot than Becker. The weekly rankings are just too dependent on how other players are doing around you. It is an achievement to get to number 1 and have the most weeks at number 1 - no doubt - but it has to remain a secondary achievement for the reasons I have listed.
     
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  10. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I said fh for instance, didn't I? there are a lot of categories Federer is highly ranked by people who are not fans of his, like footwork, footspeed, his slices, his creativity on court. What else did you want? His serve? his net game?
     
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  11. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    So is there any one area of Federer's game that he's definitely the best ever at? Or is that he's mastered all aspects of the game to an extent nobody ever has? Best all-around?
     
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  12. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Non sequitur to the topic, but not to the post I was replying to. First of all, my response may not be related to the topic at hand, but that's because I was responding to TMF's post. He claimed that Roger is GOAT, even though this is not a GOAT discussion. He didn't even say, Roger is the open-era GOAT, which would be more relevant to the topic and I wouldn't have said anything. So, before pointing fingers to people not addressing the topic at hand, you should also pay attention to what your fellow *******s are writing. You are bordering Jim Jones level of fanaticism :shock:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    His forehand and footwork are, among the greatest.the rest of his game,not.he has top class overhead and serve and a good jackman but not among the best.he has enormousmy taken advantage of a poor shotmaking era that takes him look good
     
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  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You might check the various stroke-lists we have created (e.g. Best Forehand OAT, etc.).

    I believe that the only one of these on which Fed appears is the forehand one, where he ranks at no. 1, if I recall correctly. Also, I think he might have been was starting to appear on the GSOAT-list.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Can anyone really say that ANY player in the history of tennis has a stroke that is DEFINITELY the best ever?

    Pete Sampras is recognized by many as having the best serve ever but the same could be said of Pancho Gonzalez supporters or Jack Kramer supporters and some others like Goran or Bill Tilden.

    Ken Rosewall is recognized by many as having the best backhand ever but the same could be said of Don Budge, Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver supporters.

    Bjorn Borg is often recognized as having the most mobility ever but others may find Rosewall, Nadal, Djokovic, Nastase, Tilden, Perry, Laver, Bill Tilden as superior.

    People who have been argued to have the best forehand ever are Federer, Perry, Lendl, Vines, Borg.

    Honestly there is no definitive answer for this type of question, only discussion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
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  16. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    He is the best ever at winning Slams, the best ever at being #1, and the best ever at winning the Real Slam
     
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  17. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    I can agree with that. I think of Federer as a modern motivated Lew Hoad.
     
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  18. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    stop trying to weasel out. the "Fed is not GOAT" part was directed to TMF's assertion that "Fed is GOAT", but suggestion to include pro/amateur majors had nothing to do with the GOAT part; your suggestion was in response to TMF's suggestion that the ranking include slam finals as well, which makes your contribution clearly irrelevant to the topic in hand or TMFs post.
     
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  19. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    You're pushing it a bit. He is one of the only truly successful aggressive players in this era of slower courts and supreme defense. Shotmaking is at a low because it just becomes too risky to constantly try and put balls behind players like Djokovic and Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
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  20. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Latest Figures

    Weightings

    Slams + Season End Finals and WCT finals (only if the player didn't play all the Slams that year) + Losing Finals in Slams + Masters 1000 equivalents, with a weighting factor depending on the importance of the event ie 2 x for slams, 1.5 for Season end finals (including WCT finals), 1.2 for Losing slam finals, 1 x for Masters 1000 equivalents

    Calculations

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (6 x 1.5) + (7 x 1.2) + (21 x 1) = 72.4

    Lendl = (8 x 2) + ((5 +1) x 1.5)) + (11 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) = 60.3

    Sampras = (14 x 2) + (5 x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (11 x 1) = 51.3

    Nadal = (11 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (5 x 1.2) + (21 x 1) = 49

    McEnroe (7 x 2) + ((3 + 4) x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (19 x 1) = 48.3

    Borg = (11 x 2) + ((2 + 1) x 1.5)) + (5 x 1.2) + (15 x 1) = 47.5

    Connors = (8 x 2) + ((1 + 2) x 1.5)) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 45.9

    Agassi = (8 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 42.9

    Becker = (6 x 2) + ((3 +1) x 1.5)) + (4 x 1.2) + (13 x 1) = 34.3

    Edberg = (6 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (5 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 27.5

    Djokovic = (5 x 2) + (1 x 1.5) + (3 x 1.2) + (12 x 1) = 27.1

    Wilander = (7 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (4 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 26.8


    There's not a lot to choose between Wilandar, Djokovic and Edberg as far as career achievement at the moment - only 0.7 of a point seperating the three.
    Same could be said for Nadal, McEnroe and Borg - only 1.5 points seperating those three.
     
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  21. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    Timnz: Great work. It's very illuminating to see this type of statistical analysis applied to player evaluations. We don't have enough of this in tennis as compared to other sports.

    Three comments:

    1. Although I have never believed that the majors are the only tournaments that matter, I would be inclined to weight them slightly more (perhaps at 2.5) than your current system does. This is a judgment call, and I can see that while it may be applicable to the past two decades it would not work as well for the 70's and 80's, when the majors did not overshadow all other tournaments.

    2. This system basically measures career achievement rather than peak performance. The baseball analyst Bill James distinguishes between the two, and argues (correctly, I believe) that both are relevant when evaluating players. In this context, peak performance does not mean performance in a single match but rather results over the player's best continuous 3 or 4 year period - Borg 1978-1980, Lendl 1985-1987, Sampras 1993-1995, Federer 2004-2007, Nadal 2008-2010, etc.

    I don't know if you remember Wuornos's ELO ratings published in this forum some time ago, but they were concerned exclusively with peak performance (defined slightly differently from the way I did). Players like Connors and Agassi did not do very well in that system, because although they enjoyed long and successful careers they did not dominate in the way others did. (I believe that Connors's great 1974 season was less impressive than expected in rating terms because most of his wins were achieved on the weaker Riordan circuit). If you measure players by peak performance Borg, for example, would almost certainly be rated above Sampras, while Sampras is ahead if you focus on career achievement. Federer is exceptional in that he would be at the top of either ranking system.

    3. The acid test of any statistical ranking system is whether it is consistent with one's subjective judgments and if not, whether the judgments or the system needs to be revised. In terms of career achievement this list seems to me to be fairly reliable, although I would definitely rank Sampras ahead of Lendl. I'm a bit surprised that Becker is so clearly ahead of Edberg and Wilander, since the rankings of these three contemporaries have always seemed very close.
     
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  22. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Comments on weightings and intuition

    Thanks for your comments.

    re. (1) Weightings. I have believed for some time that the current ATP weighting are wrong and that Grand Slam tournaments should be 3x or at least 2.5x Masters 1000's rather than the current 2x. There is a thread in this bulletin board on what happens if Djokovic wins the US Open final but Federer accumulates the most points by the end of the year - then who should be number 1? A lot of the people say that Djokovic should be. But what does that say when people say that the ATP rankings are 'wrong'? It says that people feel instinctively that the Slams should be weighted more. Having said all that - the fact is that the ATP has the current weighting of 2x. I have to be consistent throughout the Open era history. One can argue all day whether I should be choosing the 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's weightings. There would be no end to that argument. So I decided that well, lets just choose the current weightings as they are what is in play currently.

    re. (2) Peak Performance vs Career Achievement. You are absolutely right in your observation. This ranking system measure Career Achievement. Reason being is that it is hard to compare players peak performance - as they had different peak number of years, disputes about when their peak ended etc. For instance I would say that McEnroe only had 1 year of peak performance whereas I would say that Lendl had 4 years - 1 year in 1982 and 3 years - 1985 to 1987 - how do you compare McEnroe and Lendl then? Constrasting this with Career Achievement. It is much more straight forward - they either won those titles or didn't. Not saying that Peak Performance measures are not worth looking at at all. Just saying for purposes of comparison it is much easier and straightforward to look at career achievement.

    re. (3) Intuitiion. Interesting you should raise the whole Becker, Edberg and Wilander example. A lot of people seem to put them at about the same level due to the fact that they have a similar profile in Slam achievements (6 vs 6 & 7 wins). But what this analysis shows is that many are forgetting Becker being significantly superior to the other two in two clear areas - Major Season end Indoor titles and Masters 1000 equivalents. Those factors clearly put him above the other two . Hence, I think it shows up something that people get blindspotted about from focusing on Slams only. Re. Sampras/Lendl - the same things as for the other three, but I take your point that Sampras 'should be' (whatever that means) ahead of Lendl. But what is interesting is that for all of Sampras great Slam wins how relatively weak he is in Masters 1000's (1/2 of Lendl's wins). But I think the Sampras/Lendl difference could be accounted for by the discussion on weightings. If you ask yourself, why do you intuitively rank Sampras above Lendl - it is because you rate Slams as signficantly more than Masters 1000's - much more that is currrent for the ATP. But then we get back to my comments about Weightings above.

    Thanks - really appreciate your input.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No, Hoad was a completley different kinda player.
     
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  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Timnz

    I've come across an interesting reference to the Stockholm Open, not the Masters, being the biggest indoor event back in the early 70s. It's from this AP article:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ngwuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cqEFAAAAIBAJ&dq=borg kodes&pg=908,1616714

    I think the point system you have is a good system, but the more I think about it, one reservation I still have would be that the Masters was not as important as it would be after its move to New York. Same thing with the Dallas Finals of the 1980s: that event was no longer as important as it was in the 1970s.

    So my own preference would still be to go with Dallas through the '77 season, and with the Masters afterwards. I think this would resolve at least one strange result in your list, namely McEnroe appearing above Borg. McEnroe would lose 4 WCT victories, but he would still have all 3 of his Masters victories counted.

    I do think Mac's Dallas victory in '79 was a big victory, which you can see by looking back at the press coverage; his later victories by contrast garnered much less coverage, especially by '89.

    Lendl would drop down a little closer to Sampras; and Becker a little closer to Edberg and Wilander; both of which are issues that others have brought up. Though I agree with you that Becker's extraordinary career indoors should count for something.

    To repeat, I think what you have is a good system, but that would be my own preference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I fully agree.I have advised tennis will die in 5-10 years if it goes on like that.
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    To put Djokovic at Wilander or Edberg level is really a very bold movement...
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Becker was the best indoor player in 1980´s along JMac.

    I agree, for this time, with you that Mac 1979 WCt title was enormous.Nobody had beaten Connors and Borg in the same event since Ashe in 1975.

    Mac was closer to Borg in 1979 than in 1980.Please, elaborate if other wise.
     
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  28. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Some questions

    Thanks for your considered and thoughtful feedback.

    My reflection on 'Stockholm' being the 'Most important indoor tournament putting the Masters down the scale is this.

    1/ This is just one reporters view. And point (2) below solidifies that....

    &

    2/ Doesn't that also move the WCT finals down the scale? After all if the Masters isn't the most important and Stockholm is - then the WCT finals isn't the most important either. The blade cuts both ways....

    Worth looking at:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1091998/index.htm

    It also contradicts other things that were going in those mid-1970's years. In January 1977 the Pepsi Grand Slam made ups its 4 contestants from the winners of the previous years Majors. The Sports Illustrated I quote above reports that there was a Problem because Borg had won 2 of them in 1976 - the WCT finals and Wimbledon and Connors had won 1, and Panatta had won the other - the French. Hence, they only had 3. The decision was next to go to the Masters tournament to decide who to make up the next player. No mention of Stockholm anywhere.

    So here we have an example of only 1 year after the article you quote as rating the WCT finals and the Masters above Stockholm.

    Perhaps another way to read that article you quote is regarding Stockholm as the top indoor tournament outside the Season end finals. I wonder if the journalist is getting confused because that year (1975) the Masters itself was held in Stockholm (indoors).


    I do agree with you though that the WCT finals was the more important event in the early to mid 1970's then the Masters took over from there. However, it still was a very important tournament that had deep fields and was hotly contested. (McEnroe/Lendl 1983 - tie break in the 5th set!). Every year (except 1978) they had a player in the last match of the tournament who was number 1 some time in their career:

    1971 Ken Rosewall Rod Laver 6–4, 1–6, 7–6, 7–6
    1972 Ken Rosewall Rod Laver 4–6, 6–0, 6–3, 6–7, 7–6
    1973 Stan Smith Arthur Ashe 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 6–4
    1974 John Newcombe Björn Borg 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 6–2
    1975 Arthur Ashe Björn Borg 3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–0
    1976 Björn Borg Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 6–1, 7–5, 6–1
    1977 Jimmy Connors Dick Stockton 6–7, 6–1, 6–4, 6–3
    1978 Vitas Gerulaitis Eddie Dibbs 6–3, 6–2, 6–1
    1979 John McEnroe Björn Borg 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–6
    1980 Jimmy Connors John McEnroe 2–6, 7–6, 6–1, 6–2
    1981 John McEnroe Johan Kriek 6–1, 6–2, 6–4
    1982 Ivan Lendl John McEnroe 6–2, 3–6, 6–3, 6–3
    1983 John McEnroe Ivan Lendl 6–2, 4–6, 6–3, 6–7, 7–6
    1984 John McEnroe Jimmy Connors 6–1, 6–2, 6–3
    1985 Ivan Lendl Tim Mayotte 7–6, 6–4, 6–1
    1986 Anders Järryd Boris Becker 6–7, 6–1, 6–1, 6–4
    1987 Miloslav Mečíř John McEnroe 6–0, 3–6, 6–2, 6–2
    1988 Boris Becker Stefan Edberg 6–4, 1–6, 7–5, 6–2
    1989 John McEnroe Brad Gilbert 6–3, 6–3, 7–6

    When you say that 1977 is a cut-off point - can you please elaborate? In your thinking does Connors 1977 WCT finals win get included and his January 1978 masters win not get included (that masters was regarded as part of the 1977 season). So Connors 1977 masters doesn't get included but is 1977 WCT finals does but his 1980 WCT finals doesn't? But wasn't Connors Masters win in New York and with a deep field? Wasn't it a really big deal when he beat Borg in the final?

    Thanks again for your contributions. I very much respect your tennis history knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You're right, I was only thinking of the Masters but the journalist's remark also downgrades Dallas. Who knows, then, perhaps he simply was overlooking Dallas. Though I don't see any sign of confusion about Stockholm; he refers to the Stockholm Open and to the Masters as two distinct things.

    Let's set that single article aside, because it may overlook Dallas and at best it's only one opinion. We still agree that Dallas and the Masters see-sawed in importance, with Dallas being the outstanding circuit-ending event in the early and mid-70s, and the New York Masters holding that role in the 80s. The cutoff in the late 70s is kind of tricky, but I would count Dallas through the '76 season (I wrote '77 in my last post but that's a typo). Starting with the '77 season I'd go with the Masters -- beginning with Connors' win in January 1978 (the first New York Masters).

    Yes the Masters was a significant tournament in the early 70s. But top players often missed it, particularly in '76. Connors played it only in '72 and '73, before the move to New York (after which he never missed it, as long as he qualified).

    And yeah, Dallas continued to be a significant event in the 80s. I just don't see it as carrying the weight that the Masters did at that time. I remember the event from the mid-80s; it was a significant tournament, but not in the same league as the Big Three slams and the Masters. That was particularly true as the 80s drew on.

    I've posted before about the significance of McEnroe's Dallas record; I don't mean to say that he was winning just another tournament. But I don't see his 5 titles there as equivalent to 5 Masters titles. The latter achievement seems far greater.

    Not sure how strong the Dallas draws continued to be. Through '76, all the victors and finalists were Slam champions. Starting in '77 you've got Stockton, then Gerulaitis and Dibbs the next year; Kriek in '81. Starting in '85 you've got Mayotte, Jarryd, Mecir, Gilbert.

    Here is the Masters list for comparison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_Finals#Singles. Starting with the move to New York there are always multiple Slam winners facing each other in the finals, with the exception of Gerulaitis. The earlier period had Okker, Orantes (not exactly an indoor great) and Fibak.
     
    #79
  30. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic vs Wilander and Edberg

    Why? The evidence is there that he has achieved along their lines. He has only 1 slam title less than Edberg and 1.5 x the Masters 1000 equivalents of either Wilander or Edberg. It's true that Wilander has 2 more Slams but he doesn't have a season end finals (and Djokovic does) and he has 4 less Masters 1000's than Djokovic.

    On what basis would you rate them higher than him?

    If based on gut feeling that that is absolutely fine. We all have our impressions of how we rate players. However, I am trying to get an objective system - that is just measuring achievement at Masters 1000 level and higher. The stats. show that Djokovic is at the Wilander/Edberg level.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
    #80
  31. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Comments on WCT Finals etc

    I can see what your perspective is. My issues with this approach are as follows.

    1/ When is that 'cut-off' year for the WCT to change over to the Masters. You say 1977 but later you say that in the late 1980's you see it dropping off. My opinion is that it didn't drop off until the late 80's - 86 - 89. I do agree though that in around 1977 the Masters got a nose ahead of it. We could choose to give 1977 and later wins the same weight as Masters 1000's in the formula rather than 1.5 X (as is the case for Masters Cup)...but again, what really was the year it fell away - was it really 1977? I mean, yes in 1987 Mecir won beating McEnroe in the final. Yes, he never won a slam. But remember Mecir was creating huge damage in the ranks from 1986 to 1989. He won Miami and the 1988 Olympics and also had big wins against the likes of Lendl, Wilander etc. So it wasn't odd at all that he could win the WCT finals. The next year 1988 who do we have in the final - Becker vs Edberg - who were probably the two best fast court players in the world that year. Sorry to say, I am not convinced about the WCT finals decline. Again, I think the Masters got a little more prestiguous than it around 1977 to 1980 - but that didn't mean the WCT finals declined that much. (I would add that in the 1986 to 1989 period there could be three reasons why the WCT finals became less prestiguos - 1/ The creation of the Miami event that was talked about as the 5th Grand Slam 2/ The WCT Tour itself becoming almost non existent - only a handful of events per year 3/ The Australian Open getting back to its full Slam status)

    2/ Other posters in this forum say we simply must include the WCT finals into the formula. It's too important to ignore. But if I cut it off when you say (Making 1976 the last year of inclusion) then in the list of the top Open era players that I have provided only Borg's 1976 will be shown on the list. Hence, except for 1 entry the WCT finals would be completely wiped out. Is that what we should do?

    3/ How does your solution address the problem of fairness when comparing modern players to players of the 1970's and 1980's. The older players typically didn't play the Australian Open - hence would only be giving them 4 events (3 Slams + the Masters) to be judged from whereas modern players typically get 5 events (4 Slams + WTF).

    I felt that the way ahead to deal with the fairness issues of the number of events plus incorporate the WCT finals in - was to allow the WCT finals ONLY if that player didn't play all the slams that year (see Lendl 85 and McEnroe 83).

    I think that what these rankings I have produced reveal is that intuitively we want Slams weighted more - that is why we rate Sampras over Lendl. But that would mean that the current weighting provided by the ATP are wrong. I think they are wrong. But who am I to change it? And also it could set a huge debate off where there really isn't any chance of it coming to a satisfactory conclusion. Hence, I stick with the current ATP weighting of events.

    What my proposed rankings reveal is that below Slam win level & Season end championship level Sampras' achievements hollow out quickly - only 11 Masters 1000's. (Again, I am a very big Sampras fan - but this is the objective data - which we can't deny).
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
    #81
  32. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't sound like the WCT Finals was in too much of a decline ini late 80

    Interesting to listen to the first few minutes of the commentary at the US Open in 1980.

    http://bodhiman.com/v/38278

    Listen from the 40 second position onwards....

    In it Tony Trabert refers to Connors 1977 & McEnroe's 1979 WCT Finals wins as being 'big events'.

    So in the tennis public minds in late 1980 - the WCT finals was still a 'big event'.
     
    #82
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    To your 3 points above:

    1) When McEnroe won the '79 WCT Finals over Borg, Sports Illustrated remarked that "World Championship Tennis has fallen on hard times, what with a curtailed circuit of eight tournaments plus a championship and no live network television contract." So the decline can be traced at least that far back. No one, I think, disputes the importance of the 1971-75 tournaments; and I don't know of anyone who disputed their importance at the time. But in '76 I know of one journalist who felt that the Dallas field was weak. In '77 Connors played the Dallas event (for the first time), but Borg was not there that year. Connors was not there in '78 (or in '81-82). Borg's last participation in Dallas was '79. It was still a big event; but if you ask when the decline began, I'd say in the late 70s. And if you ask when the Masters overtook it as the most important non-Slam event (or as the big tour-ending championship), I'd say that happened when the Masters moved to New York.

    2) The WCT seems to be wiped out in every year except '76, but the only reason it appears that way is because your list of Slam champions of the Open Era extends only to champions with at least 5 Slam victories. The 1971-75 editions were won by Rosewall, Smith, Newcombe and Ashe: most of them don't make that particular cutoff. But Newcombe actually does: he won 5 in the Open Era; so you could include him, with his Dallas victory of ’74. And Rosewall is not far behind with 4 Slams in the Open Era. It's just a question of how deep you make your list, which is entirely up to you; it's not a question of how important the 1971-75 WCT editions were. I think we all agree they were hugely important and should count as the primary tour-ending championship of those particular seasons. Other posters have said that the WCT championships need to be included, but I don't know that they were insisting on including the event all the way through '89 as an equal with the Masters.

    3) This is a really important issue. The older players of the Open Era are disadvantaged because they did not play the AO. I’m not sure there’s any ideal way to make up the disadvantage. Including the WCT Finals as a year-ending championship after ‘76 helps a couple of players make up the disadvantage: namely Connors and McEnroe. Borg is not helped out at all, because he didn’t win Dallas after ’76. McEnroe happened to love the event, even as it diminished in importance; he was right there at the end, winning one more Dallas title in ’89 when the WCT tour had practically ceased to exist, as you noted yourself. So this system ends up rewarding his personal preference for the tournament – and putting him ahead of Borg, which never happens on any list.

    Having said that, I doubt there is any ideal solution. The tour has changed too much for that. With my suggestion, you still have to figure out what to do with the Masters from 1970-76 and Dallas from 1977-89. Perhaps a solution is to count these events as an extra Masters 1000 equivalent, with a weighting of 1.0?

    By the way I tend to agree with you that the Slams should be weighted more – but only from the 1990s onward. For the prior generation that missed the AO and other Slam events, increasing the weighting of the Slams would only put them further behind the current players.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
    #83
  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    That's true, it continued to be a big event, and what Trabert said is just what you would expect at that time. Note, however, that he didn't even mention Connors winning Dallas in 1980, just a few months earlier. Yet he listed all of Connors' Slam titles accurately.

    Sure, it's a small omission, but I'll go as far as to suggest that if Dallas, in 1980, had still been an event that could easily be called a "major" (as it was in the first half of the 70s), Trabert would not have hesitated to tick off Connors' 1977 and 1980 Dallas victories the same way he ticked off his USO victories of 1974, '76 and '78.

    Let's jump to '83 now. You remember the big dispute at the end of the year about whether Wilander or McEnroe was #1. I don't recall any publication making very much of McEnroe's Dallas victory. Sports Illustrated went into some detail about the season, listing many titles and covering a good deal of stats; yet they don't list Dallas as one of McEnroe's central victories. Personally I would give Dallas some weight in that '83 contest; but I think it's telling that Dallas did not get more mention in such a close race.

    That would be unimaginable in '71-75. Anyone advocating for Rosewall, Newk or Ashe as #1 for the year always named their Dallas victories as one of their big victories of the year.
     
    #84
  35. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    WCT finals in the 1980's

    I suspect Connors 1980 WCT Finals win was forgotten by the commentators not deliberately omitted.

    I agree that the WCT fianls slowly faded in the 1980's however it was slow and gradual. But the fact that heavy hitters kept on showing up at the event - right to the end (Becker/Edberg in 1988, McEnroe/Lendl in 89) is also telling.
     
    #85
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agreed, it cannot have been a deliberate omission. I'm sure it was just forgotten; but that's my point.

    Not a slam dunk either way, though, this issue.
     
    #86
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    While Federer is a real candidate,we should never forget it is human nature to forget older
    and privilege new or recent.it is normal because human memory is limited and reductive
     
    #87
  38. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    Fair enough, but it is also human nature to remember the past as better than it actually was
     
    #88
  39. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    But....

    But this the whole point this thread. To get away from subjective opinions and just to compare players on actual achievements, in the the open era.
     
    #89
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True,and the 1983 Dallas final was clearly and plainly the best match of the year
     
    #90
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Then,how do you weighten a weak era vs a tough era
     
    #91
  42. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's a tough one. I would say a modern slam is worth 3 times the amateur slam, and twice as much as the pro majors.

    Emerson for example, his 12 slams is equal to Courier's 4 slams.
     
    #92
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is the point.Seasoned experts on TT will say that current era is the weakest they have seen...and that is so true.That a modest guy like DelPo or born loser Murray get so much hype is so ridiculous..

    As I said before, current tards, be it *******s, ********* or djokovites have never been able to compare to the truly great eras because, probably, they were not even born...
     
    #93
  44. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    You don't. A wimbledon win is a wimbledon win. We could debate forever whether or not sometime was a weak era. Just dont go there - there is no way out of that hole.
     
    #94
  45. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Too difficult to compare eras. Remember i said open era in the initial post of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
    #95
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, poundering the top 10 achievements in terms of major wins.That gives you a protray of the competitiveness of an era.
     
    #96
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree. It's almost impossible and anyone can have subjective opinions but no matter what in any era the average winning percentage is 50%.

    Of course some eras are stronger than others but we just can't prove it unless would have a time machine to have players from one era play others from the different era with equal equipment and training. Even that may cause a debate.
     
    #97
  48. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    Slams should count more. If a MS = 1, Slams should be at least 5. WTF should be 2 or so.
     
    #98
  49. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    except when it is a pathetic wimbledon field like in 73 - due to the boycott or the weak AO fields in the mid-70s to early 80s .....
     
    #99
  50. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I didn't want to bring this up but kiki irks me by bringing up the nonsensical weak/strong era. There's too much insecure Laver fans in this Laver Forum.
     

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