Updated Open era rankings

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by timnz, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Like to see us talk about Slams + Season end finals + masters 1000 rather than just Slams, when it comes to evaluating players Open era careers. The season end finals is now a tournament with a rich and strong tradition with great depth of players (over 40 years and top 8 respectively) and the masters 1000's or equivalents pre-1990 have very deep fields. Also there is the WCT finals to consider.

    I have only included tournaments of Masters 1000 equivalency and greater to take away the discussion about the depth of field that the older players had to deal with vs today. The thinking is that if we only consider these tournaments of top value then that goes someway to levelling the playing field.

    So how to go somewhere to creating a level playing field between current players who tend to play 4 slams a year vs older players of the 70's and early 80's who tended to play only 3 slams a year? 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. Becker in 1988 didn't play in all the slams but he did win the WCT finals (over Edberg), as was the case with Connors in 1977 and 1980 and Borg in 1976.

    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, 1.4 for Season end finals * (including WCT finals), 1.2 for Losing slam finals, 1 x for Masters 1000 equivalents

    * I weight the Season end finals at 1.4. The reason for this is that not all of the Masters Cup winners won the tournament in an unbeaten fashion. For instance 1 of Federer's 6 wins he lost a match in the round robin. In 2001 Hewitt was an unbeaten winner but as the 2002 winner he lost one round robin match. No one has lost more than 1 match and gone on to win the tournament - so I thought on average then we could weight it half way between an unbeaten winner (1500 points) and a one match loser (1300 points) but overall winner - to arrive at 1.4. (Currently in the ATP each round robin win is worth 200 points).

    NOTE: You may disagree with the weightings. But remember these are not my weightings. They are the present ATP weightings for tournaments. Every time I post these rankings using these weightings people disagree with them, which of course they have a right to do. The problem is, how can we come to an agreement about them with so many opinions? We can't of course. The best I can do is just use the current ATP weightings.

    Latest Update: Djokovic has nearly caught up with Becker! Just a couple more Masters 1000's or another Slam will do it

    Calculations

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (6 x 1.4) + (7 x 1.2) + (21 x 1) = 71.8

    Lendl = (8 x 2) + ((5 + 1) x 1.4)) + (11 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) = 59.6

    Sampras = (14 x 2) + (5 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (11 x 1) = 50.8

    Nadal = (11 x 2) + (0 x 1.4) + (5 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) = 50

    McEnroe (7 x 2) + ((3 + 4) x 1.4)) + (4 x 1.2) + (19 x 1) = 47.6

    Borg = (11 x 2) + ((2 + 1) x 1.4)) + (5 x 1.2) + (15 x 1) = 47.2

    Connors = (8 x 2) + ((1 + 2) x 1.4)) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 45.6

    Agassi = (8 x 2) + (1 x 1.4) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) = 42.8

    Becker = (6 x 2) + ((3 + 1) x 1.4)) + (4 x 1.2) + (13 x 1) = 35.4

    Djokovic = (6 x 2) + (2 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (14 x 1) = 33.6

    Edberg = (6 x 2) + (1 x 1.4) + (5 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 27.4

    Wilander = (7 x 2) + (0 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) = 26.8
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    #1
  2. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    so djokovic is up with 'the legends' already then.
     
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  3. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Sorry.
    Any formula that has Lendl over Borg and Sampras must be fatally deficient.
     
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  4. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    +1.

    As much as I appreciate the OP's efforts, you can't rank Lendl higher than any of Sampras, Borg or Nadal.
     
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Question is why not? There was no subjectivity in my rankings - it just laid out what the players career achievements are with the top events. It must be because you rate slams much higher than 2 x Masters 1000. I agree with you, if that is the case but what level then?....it boils down to subjective opinion....hence that is why I went with the Atp weightings. My theory is people completely ignore Sampras' relatively weak Masters 1000 performance. And also because people tend to ignore Lendl's 11 slam finalist performances....but making a final is an achievement in itself, less than winning for sure...but that is why it is rated less ie 1.2 x. Nadals lack of season end titles obviously hurts him.

    What other criteria would you add? Weeks at number 1?, total number of titles? - in both those criteria Lendl would completely dwarf Nadals achievements - so he would even be further ahead.

    It was interesting to me when I first did this....like you I was surprised that Lendl was so far up the list...but it helped me see how we tend to completely ignore things outside slam wins when assessing a career. But those Season end final, slam finals and Masters 1000 wins weren't nothing - less important yes, but that is why there is the weightings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  6. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Any ranking between different eras is flawed, but it is fun anyway I guess.

    Why do you "stop" on M-1000 equivalents? Prior to 2000 there were other tournaments (not M-1000 equivalents) with virtually the same amount of points than what you call M-1000 equivalents (one could get even more points in a non-M-1000 equivalent depending on the bonus points).
     
    #6
  7. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    This is very correct. The only objective numbers are what the OP has posted. Everything else has to do with subjectively massaging the data so that your favourite player appears near the top.
     
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  8. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Sure there was/is. It's a subjective choice to apply ATP yearly points to a GOAT analysis. It may be a defensible decision, but it's still a decision. The Official Bureau of Tennis Legacies (were there such a thing) does not dictate that choice.

    There's also subjectivity inherent in the ATP's own assignment of point values. The only thing "objective" about your process is the calculations (sort of -- the question about counting the WCT could be decided otherwise).

    Here's a relatively simple alternative, which I do not pretend is objective except, again, in the calculations. I will stick with your count that includes the WCT for some players, although I don't really agree with it.

    GS = 10
    GSF = 3
    YEC = 2
    MM = 1

    Applying this formula, which in my subjective opinion better represents how these tennis accomplishments are viewed over the long term, yields:

    1. Federer, 224
    2. Sampras, 173
    3. Lendl, 147
    3. Nadal, 147
    5. Borg, 146
     
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    How? See my reasons in the thread above.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  10. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Well that would put Lendl even further ahead of Nadal, sampras and Borg.....(not that there is anything wrong with that bit that is what people are expressing dismay over). I took out tournaments below masters 1000 because I wanted to take away completely the discussion about weaker fields in the smaller tournaments in the 70s and 80s... One of the reasons people say why Connors was able to rack up so many titles. I thought the way to deal with this is to only talk about the substantial titles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  11. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    But where did your weighting come from? If they were incorporated into the ATP ranking system would any player accept a slam performance being 10 x a masters 1000? And a YEC being only a fifth of a slam? The YEC at times in the past has been regarded as a defacto slam. No one would rate it so low. Even half would be putting it too low. I respect what you are trying to do but you are actually establishing my point. Weighting are completely subjective things and we could get mired down in what they should be. So the best that can be done is to use the ATP weighting because at least there is some official nature to them...even if we disagree with them....which I do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  12. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    From my head ... and from being a close observer of professional tennis for many years. I've already admitted that the weights are subjective, but it's subjectivity informed by experience.

    Irrelevant. The point I am trying to make is that what a tournament may be worth within a given year can be very different from what it is perceived as being worth 10, 20, or 50 years down the road. For example, do I think it is 10 times more difficult to win a slam than to win a Masters 1000 event? Of course not. Then why do I assign 10 points to each slam win, but only one point to each MM win? Because how hard it was to win a tournament in 2013 will no longer matter in 2043! The slam wins will be remembered, and the other wins will be largely, or entirely, forgotten.

    I agree with you that it can be enlightening to create an all-time ranking system that does not depend entirely on slam wins -- I particularly think it is good to recognize slam finals -- but it should be done realistically. It is not realistic to extrapolate from yearly point values to all-time point values. The smaller events simply do not have anything near the legacy value, nor the staying power in memory, of the biggest events.
     
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  13. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    QFT...........
     
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  14. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Subjective.

    Subjective.

    Even purporting to follow the ATP's point assignments thus leads to purely subjective decisions that remove from consideration huge swaths of the tour. That doesn't mean your decision to ignore such tournaments was wrong; in fact, it was right. But it was a subjective departure, and a large one at that, from the ATP points scheme.
     
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  15. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    Agree with the criticism that the proposed relative weighting of events is non-sensible. It is also indefensible to suggest that results of regular tour events have no role in this hierarchy.
     
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  16. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I tried it (see comments below) it made not much difference in the rankings beyond moving Lendl even further ahead of Nadal and moved up Connors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  17. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I experimented in the past putting other tournament wins in these ranking and weighted them at 0.375 each ie halfway between Atp 500 and Atp 250 weightings. From memory it had almost no impact on the overall rankings.
     
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  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Do you mean the ATP weightings I have chosen are 'non-sensible' or the discussion on relativism of weightings is non-sensible and you agree with me about sticking to the atp weightings?
     
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  19. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    No matter which way you count it, Roger Featherer is #1.
     
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  20. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Not necessarily, not only Lendl, but many other different players won (prior to 2000 ) non-M-1000-equivalent tournaments that gave them more points than several M-1000 tournaments that these same players (or others) won.

    Just few rapid examples from memory:

    In 1990 Lendl won Tokyo Indoor that gave him 346 points, which was more than the 314 points Edberg got for winning Indian Wells, the 314 points that Chesnokov got for winning Monte Carlo, the 336 points Chang got for winning the Canadian Open and virtually the same ( 348 ) points Muster got for winning Rome.

    Also in 1990 Sampras got 334 points for winning Philadelphia, which was more than the 314 points Edberg got for winning Indian Wells, the 314 points that Chesnokov got for winning Monte Carlo, and virtually the same ( 336 ) Chang got for winning the Canadian Open.

    In 1991 Sampras got 339 points for winning Indianapolis, which was more than the 319 points Bruguera got for winning Monte Carlo, the 315 points Emilio Sanchez got for winning Rome, the 294 points Chesnokov got for winning the Canadian Open and the 338 points Novacek got for winning Hamburg.

    Also in 1991 Lendl got 338 points for winning Philadelphia, which was equal or more points than the points winner for four of the 9 M-1000 tournaments that year.

    In 1992 Medvedev got 371 points for winning Stuttgart Outdoor (on clay during the summer), which was more than the 314 points Chang got for winning Indian Wells, the 335 points Muster got for winning Monte Carlo, the 355 points Edberg got for winning Hamburg, the 362 points Courier got for winning Rome, the 311 points Agassi got for winning the Canadian Open, and virtually the same ( 373 and 373 ) Sampras and Ivanisevic got for their win in Cincinnati and Stockholm respectively. I.e. Medvedev got more points for that title than five M-1000 winners that year, and equal than other two M-1000 winners, that year.

    Also in 1992, Ivanisevic got 356 points for winning Stuttgart Indoor (in February), Lendl got 338 for winning Tokyo Indoor and Sampras got 321 for winning Indianapolis, each of them being more points than several winners of M-1000 tournaments that year.

    There were of course more cases those three years (and obviously many more cases any other year in any previous era).

    That is why it doesn't make sense to count the M-1000 "equivalents" as if they were as important as they are in the last 5-10 years.

    In other words, it could make some sense (even if being as biased as any other choice) to take the M-1000 tournaments into account (and not the ATP-500 and ATP-250 ) for the current players (last 5-10 years).

    But it doesn't make sense to take the 9 M-1000 equivalents AND not other 8-10 tournaments that gave virtually the same amount of points (sometimes more points indeed depending of the year, prize money and bonus points obtained) when analyzing players from past eras (prior to 2000 for example).

    This is the problem when people try to look at "all eras" under current glasses.

    Today is much more important to win Indian Wells (for example) than any ATP-500 or ATP-250. But this is only true in the last 10 years more or less.

    In the 70s, 80s, 90s there wasn't such a "cut" from those 9 tournaments and "the rest". In fact many times the draws were harder in other tournaments and that is why they could get more points than in many of those 9 M-1000 equivalents.

    So imagine in the future they change again (they will probably, though not exactly in this way) and only count 3 GS (for example, they drop the Australian Open) and they only mantain 5 M-1000 (let's say Miami, Madrid clay, Canadian Open, Shanghai and Paris) and so people from 2030 start to make "rankings" like this:

    Federer: 13 GS and 8 M-1000
    Nadal: 10 GS and 3 M-1000
    Djokovic: 2 GS and 8 M-1000

    It could be fun, but it wouldn't reflect the reality of that era.

    Your ranking is the same, it is fun, but it doesn't reflect reality. No across-eras ranking can reflect reality.
     
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  21. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    For those who wanted all tournaments included...a mistake in my opinion

    I have added in the players remaining titles (Total titles minus the ones already counted so far in the formula......slams, season end finals counted and masters 1000's) and weighted them at 0.375 ie halfway between Atp 500 and 250 (it is too difficult to break them down further than that and I don't think it would have a material difference to the outcome). I also feel that including these is a mistake for the reasons I have given earlier...but here they are...

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (6 x 1.4) + (7 x 1.2) + (21 x 1) + ((76 - 44) x 0.375) = 93.8

    Lendl = (8 x 2) + ((5 + 1) x 1.4)) + (11 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) + ((94 - 38 ) x 0.375) = 80.6

    Connors = (8 x 2) + ((1 + 2) x 1.4)) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) + ((109 - 28 ) x 0.375) = 75.975

    McEnroe (7 x 2) + ((3 + 4) x 1.4)) + (4 x 1.2) + (19 x 1) + ((77 - 33) x 0.375) = 64.1

    Sampras = (14 x 2) + (5 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (11 x 1) + ((64 - 30) x 0.375) = 63.55

    Borg = (11 x 2) + ((2 + 1) x 1.4)) + (5 x 1.2) + (15 x 1) + ((64 - 29) x 0.375) = 60.325

    Nadal = (11 x 2) + (0 x 1.4) + (5 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) + ((53 - 33) x 0.375) = 57.5

    Agassi = (8 x 2) + (1 x 1.4) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) + ((60 - 26) x 0.375) = 55.55

    Becker = (6 x 2) + ((3 + 1) x 1.4)) + (4 x 1.2) + (13 x 1) + ((49 - 23) x 0.375) = 45.15

    Djokovic = (6 x 2) + (2 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (14 x 1) + ((37 - 22) x 0.375) = 42.975

    Edberg = (6 x 2) + (1 x 1.4) + (5 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) + ((42 - 15) x 0.375) = 37.525

    Wilander = (7 x 2) + (0 x 1.4) + (4 x 1.2) + (8 x 1) + (33 - 15) x 0.375) = 33.55

    The reason I don't like this is that the whole idea of my rankings was to try and get to equivalency as much as possible. But winning lower level titles in the 70's and 80's was just much easier for the top players...hence that is why I didn't include them when I posted this thread. nadal and connors basically swap positions and Sampras moves down
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  22. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Complexity

    Hi Matt - incredibly impressed at your knowledge here. I guess though the complexity of working out equivalency rises exponentially. I feel my rankings is a good middle road. But thanks...that analysis was wonderful.
     
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  23. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    As I said in my previous post, many of "those other tournaments" should be rated not 0.375, but from 0.95 to 1.05 depending on the points the winner got for them (many times they got MORE points than the winner of several M-1000 equivalent tournaments each year).

    EDIT: sorry, I didn't see your last post.
     
    #23
  24. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it is impossible to compare properly different eras. Everything was different.

    That is why I only compare players from (more or less) the same era, and for me all players that were the best, or the second best, or sometimes even the third best, of each era, all them are all-time greats.
     
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  25. piece

    piece Professional

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    Any reason why players weren't awarded season end finals points based on how many matches they actually won/lost in their tournament victories? Was it just a matter of it being too much work? As I see it, weighting the SEF at 1.4 for everyone may well disadvantage those who won it multiple times without losing a match, and advantage those who rarely did so.

    But it may end up making no difference to the current rankings anyway.
     
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  26. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Yeah it was the work...and basically it would have no real material difference ie sampras in my scheme is over rated by 0.1 x 5 ie 0.5 because in every season end final he won he lost 1 match so he should have been getting 1.3 x for his weighting ..but overall it impacts his overall score by just 0.5 - so not material. Remember, no one in the history of the tournament has ever won it while losing more than 1 match. So the most I am out in any one instance is 0.1 points.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  27. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    First, let me just say that I am inpressed by the time and thought you have put into this. In hindsight, I am afraid my post came off as too cryptic and overly critical. For that I am sorry.
    I am sure that part of it is that I am just not a stats guy. Being old, I have a tendency of trusting my eyes. I saw Borg, Sampras and Lendl play. To me, despite what any stats say, Borg and Sampras were the superior players. There was never a period of dominance that Lendl had (although he was consistently good) that approached Pete or Borg.
     
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  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Wow! Lendl ahead of Sampras, and Nadal just a hair behind Sampras.

    Interesting!
     
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  29. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Thanks...i kind of agree with you...and I have been watching tennis since the early 70s myself. I think we can differentiate between peak play and career achievement. I agree that Borg and Sampras appear better on their peak play. However when I analyse the data - well it just speaks for itself. I also don't rate head to head highly...but when you look at how Lendl played Sampras close even when he was well past his prime and how he played Borg close when he was before his prime, maybe Lendl was better than we remember? Also with regard to dominance - Lendl was number 1 for 270 weeks vs Borg at 109 weeks....just saying...
     
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  30. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Well is the comparison I have given of comparing Masters 1000s and greater not a fairly good approximation? It isn't too wildly out in my opinion. It is focused on career achievement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  31. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Great work! As Mattennis, it is an evaluation of the past made with our current lens, which is problematic. But it shows that, when we compare the all-time great with the current lens (and we always do), we underrate and overrate several players.
     
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  32. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I don't agree with your weighting. With it, a player who win all 9 master 1000 is inferior to a player who fluke one slam and win nothing else. I don't think that

    I think you make a mistake in your methodology to determine the ranking. If I have understood correctly, you note that today, most people only consider the slams titles when comparing the past players. Thus, only the slams titles should be taken into account (it what your weighting really do)? You impose the weighting used by the broad public. As tennis fan, we follow tennis all year long, and we are really interested in the outcome of a Master 1000. We have a better knowledge than the broad public of what happens during the year, and we can determine our own weighting of tournaments.
     
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  33. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    That is incorrect. The point values I suggest clearly give weight to nonslam events, just not nearly as much as in the OP's scheme, which I believe is flawed for the reasons I've already explained. For example, several players have won 20 or more Masters titles (or the equivalent), and in my proposal, those titles would be worth 2+ slams in legacy value to each player. That's a lot. A truly slamcentric approach would assign those Masters wins 0 points, on the grounds that such titles, regardless of their quantity, simply do not hold up over time. From that perspective, saying that a slam title = 10 points and a Masters title = 1 point is actually a substantial departure from a purely slam-based all-time hierarchy.

    The key phrase here is "during the year." As I've stated repeatedly, it's a mistake to believe that all the details of a particular year's competition will be immortalized with equal fidelity. It's not only the "broad public" who lose interest in, and appreciation for, lesser titles over time. Tennis fans do so as well. For example, take a look at last year's "100 Greatest Players" from the Tennis Channel and tell me how much discussion there was of, and how much apparent weight was assigned to, nonslam tournaments.

    What I am trying to do is craft, for the sake of the topic raised in this thread, a reasonable compromise between the prevailing view that in the long run, only slams count at all, and the OP's view that long-term legacy is merely an accumulation of fine-grained annual results.
     
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  34. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Good, because head-to-head results are irrelevant. They cannot be used to facilitate any kind of rigorous comparison, particularly across eras.
     
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  35. egn

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    Ivan Lendl deserves to be in the same sentence as Sampras and Nadal. It is ridiculous how much people like to trash on him because he only won 8 majors. For those who have forgotten, Ivan Lendl played in an era where the courts outside of clay were fast, two majors were on grass, tons of tournaments were on carpet and his best surface clay had a ridiculously deep field. (Wilander, Borg, Noah, Vilas, Leconte, Higueras, McEnroe, Connors, Clerc, Becker, Gomez etc.) Lendl not only dominated a ridiculously talented era, he dominated an era where more than 75% of the tour was tournaments on surfaces his style of play was not suited for. Also just it should be brought up that Lendl practically suicided his clay career in an effort to win Wimbledon and post 1988 didn't even bother trying anymore as he focused solely on winning that Wimbledon title. Put Lendl on today's grass he'd never have had any of those problems.
     
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  36. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I think that season end finals titles are much more prestigous than you are making out. If you look at career profiles on wikipedia of great open era players they frequently mention their wct finals and masters cup wins. In my view the ratio of 1.4/2 is about right. And making slam finals is significant too. Again, its all down to opinion. I just don't see anyone with any knowledge of tennis making these achievments anywhere as insignificant as you are making.
     
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  37. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    The very thing I want to encourage people to do is to move away from a too 'slam-centric' approach in judging the greatness of a player. I see no need to dumb down the whole process and create grounds which encourage a much more ignorant perception of what constitutes greatness.

    That would truly be a shame, and I know you guys hate shame too. Let's not submit to shame but instead embrace the many aspects of fame. And don't forget about those coupon thingamijiggies.
     
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  38. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Really? Tommy Haas would trade all of his 10+ titles for 1 slam. Del Potro wouldn't trade his 1 slam for 5 MS-1000 titles. Let's face it, any article about Federer always starts with "Roger Federer, the 17-time slam winner...".
     
    #38
  39. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't call clay his best surface. He was even better in indoor tournaments (carpet and hard indoors), and on outdoor hard courts he was, at least, as good as on clay (if not better).

    He was a beast and he played in a very difficult era with polarized conditions and great players playing all kind of successful (then) styles.

    That is why I don't put Sampras (neither Federer or Borg) above Lendl. They are just absolutely great players from different eras.
     
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  40. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Bro, though your story is cool, it's a bit extreme. I never said that Majors aren't the most important part of a player's career. At the same time, 7 isn't always greater than 6, for example. Or shall we say not everyone thinks Wilander is greater than Edberg. But unfortunately as we move forward, we are actually moving backwards and are starting to marginalise other achievements too much to the extent where there is an absolutist, black and white, 10 IS greater than 9 mentality.

    I have no doubt Haas would trade those titles for 1 Major, but things such as 1000 titles won and world ranking statistics (year-end no.1 statistics, weeks at number 1) should matter in the discussion more than a lot of the younger generation tennis fans are willing to enterprise.

    In fact, don't most people think Edberg and/or Becker are more legendary players than Mats. In short, X isn't always greater than Y.
     
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  41. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    It is not very good because in the last era (post 2000 or so) top players really try hard to win M-1000 tournaments (much much harder than their effort in ATP-500 or ATP-250) because those tournaments NOW are very very important to be nº1.

    It was totally different prior to 2000. There were another 8-10 tournaments where they could get virtually the same points (sometimes even MORE points as I posted earlier, depending on the toughness of the draws and bonus points) than in those "M-1000 equivalents", so they were not as focused (as totays players are) in those tournaments.

    So it is not by chance that both Federer and Nadal (players from the last era) have won so many M-1000 equivalents. For Federer and Nadal (players from the last era) those M-1000 tournaments are infinitely more important for their ranking than prior to 2000.

    It also happens with the GS tournaments. Now the four GS give the same amount of points, but it was not like that earlier.

    For example, in 1987 Edberg got 251 points for winning the Australian Open and 238 (almost the same) for winning Cincinnati, and Mecir got 335 for winning Miami (much more than what Edberg got for winning one of the GS tournaments).

    The "M-1000-equivalents" didn't give the same amount of points either (it happens now, each gives 1000 points, but in previous eras it wasn't like that).

    It was totally different. Now a young fan could say: " player X only won 1 GS that year and only 2 M-1000 equivalents and still was nº1" and he doesn't know that probably that player won other tournaments that gave him equal or more points than the "M-1000 equivalents", or even more points than one of the four GS!

    In previous eras, the GS and the now called "M-1000 equivalents" weren't as important to be nº1 as they are now.

    To make comparisons even more complex, prior to 1990 the ranking measured an average (total points obtained in sanctioned tournaments divided by nº of such sanctioned tournaments played), not a total sum of points. That is why then it was "better" (to be nº1) to be consistent (making good results in almost all tournaments) than winning 2 GS but failing in early rounds in some other tournaments. For example, it was much better (for the ranking) to play only two GS and make the final in both (as Connors did in 1977 ) than winning two of them (like Vilas did) but losing in earlier rounds in the other two (like Vilas did in Wimbledon and December Australian Open that 1977 year), and the same applied to the rest of the tournaments.

    That is why Connors was nº1 in 1975, 1977 and 1978 (apart from him being nº1 in 1974 and 1976 that nobody disputes) and some people try to discredit or "change" it looking at it under current evaluation system (that computes the total sum). For the same reasons some try to give him the nº1 in 1982 (when McEnroe was the year-end ATP ranked player).

    All these things make it almost impossible to compare properly achievements in different eras.

    And to make things even more difficult, in the last 10 years or so they changed 16 seeds to 32 seeds, they make all courts slower and much more similar than before, a new element (poly strings) added to the homogenization of conditions make everybody play "the same" baseline game everywhere, all these changes producing the obvious effect of top-players getting almost always to the final rounds (SF, F) of every big tournament, inflating their statistics.


    For all these things I can't say that Federer is "better" or "greater" than Lendl, neither Sampras was "better" or "greater" than Lendl (or Borg or many other really great players from different times).


    I can only compare great players from the same era (about 5 years of age apart at most) and say that one was greater or "better" than the other.
     
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  42. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Good points, mattennis. Until the mid 1980s, neither the 4 majors nor the masters series were properly scheduled as there are today. Its problematic, to set modern standards in retrospect back to the situation 30 years ago. Especially top players of the 70s like Borg or Connors set other priorities, and to them is was no question of a potential hierarchy, to play Tucson, a ATP run tournament, which most people now would rank as Super Nine event, and - say - Indianapolis, which was also a very importnat tournament. There were around 15-18 tournaments, which had virtually the same number of points.
     
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  43. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Huh? I just provided a large set of examples! To quote my previous post:
    "Take a look at last year's '100 Greatest Players' from the Tennis Channel and tell me how much discussion there was of, and how much apparent weight was assigned to, nonslam tournaments."

    Do you think the comparison between Federer and Laver turned on how many M1000-equivalent titles each guy won? Do you believe that was even a factor? No -- it was all about slams, winning the CYGS or coming close, years of domination, success on all surfaces, etc. Watch the program if you don't believe me. And all the voters/pundits were tennis experts (former players, long-time journalists, builders of the sport, etc.)

    To repeat: From the long-term, historical perspective, I'm being quite reasonable, perhaps even generous, in my proposed assignment of points for M1000 titles, YEC titles, and slam finals. One thing we can be certain of is that when Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are compared to each other 40 years from now, no one will look back and count each Masters title as half a slam, or each YEC title as 70 percent of a slam (and I'm speaking as a big fan of the YEC, personally).
     
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  44. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    My main point is

    I started out trying to come up with a relatively straight forward and objective way to compare players in the open era. The objective part (at least I tried...see Mattennis comments where the whole thing is more complex) was to simply list the players wins in the top events. I cut it off at Masters 1000 equivalents because of the reasons I have given above. Then I ran into the issue of weighting. Now you have made it very clear what your thoughts on weighting should be....but the fact remains there probably is as many opinions on this as members on this board. So what is abundantly clear and what could be said with certainity is that agreement on this will never happen. For instance I rate the WTF highly because it is an event now of long tradition that the top players rate highly. But if you speak to some members of this board...they see it more or less as an exhibition (even though none of the top players think so...but that is another story). Again opinion. I wanted to come up with the rankings so the only thing left to me was to use the ATP weightings. I personally think the slams are underrated ...I think they should be at least 3 x Masters 1000's - but again ..opinion. The next time I post these ranking I will title it....Open Era rankings using current ATP weightings....and leave it there for what it is.

    Now if you are able to achieve consensus across the board on weightings I will tip my hat...but I don't think it is likely. Best wishes to you...I don't mean these comments with any disrespect.
     
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