WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver just went for the bucks and the prestige inherent to the Hunt' s tour
    He aimed exclusively for the Dallas festival
    He played two finals and Two semis but failed to win there once
     
  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, In 1973 Smith was stronger than Laver in that circuit. But we also can say that Laver was among the top two or three also in 1974 and 1975.
     
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Stan also won the finals in 73 beating Laver in the semis..Laver was solid in 74 and 75 reaching the Dallas showcase, so he was one of the 8 best.But his best years had gone by.
     
  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Laver won 4 WCT tournaments in 1974 (only Newcombe won more:5) thus being No.5 prior to Dallas, and he won also 4 WCT tournaments in 1975 (tied No.1 with Ashe) thus being No.2 behind Ashe prior to Dallas.

    It's a pity that such a strong WCT player could never win the final trophy.
     
  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In 1973 Stan was 26 years old, and very near his peak which was probably 1971-72.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Smith himself wrote just a year or so ago, that the first half of 1973 was his peak. And indeed, i saw him a few times on the WCT tour in spring 1973, and he played just awesome, every bit as well as Connors a year later. In contrast, at Wim 1972 he played imo a bit subpar, despite winning (without all the WCT players of course). The sharp WCT tour 1973 maybe took something out of him, and he never reached that level again. Never a clay court artist, he lost a few times on the European clay against Okker i think, lost a close match to Kodes at Forest Hills and the DC to the Aussies.
     
  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Stan was a late blossomer, but I don´t think he played better tennis than late 72-early 73.

    Incidentally, he was extremely competitive at the end of 79 and start of 1980.Once he got ridden of injuries.
     
  8. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In 1970 Laver won five Masters 1000 (-equivalent) tournaments:
    Johannesburg, Los Angeles, London, Philadelphia, Sydney.
     
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, Then it's a great achievement for Rosewall beating peak Smith in the 1973 World Cup in April (at Hartford?) 6-7, 6-0, 6-4 after Smith had beaten Newcombe in a tough match. I believe the matches (Australia d. USA 5:2) were played on hardcourt.
     
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    the AETNA at Harford was much like the Wightman Cup.The Aetna was an annual national contest between the top pros ( not amateurs) from Australia and USA while Wightman was an annual pro ladies contets between GBR and USA

    Lots of prestige and eye catching attention even if some people thought it to be mere exos.
     
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    2014: three different slam winners (again).

    Maybe the USO will decide it?

    Who will it be for the year?
     
  12. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Looking likely to be Djokovic.
     
  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Stan messed up the equation by beating Nadal in the Australian. :)
     
  14. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It should be close in 2014. Djokovic has the lead, yet I think Nadal will end the year #1.
     
  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In 2012, we had four different slam winners. I believe that Djokovic took it by winning the YEC.

    Yet if Djokovic wins the USO, that should decide it right there.
     
  16. eldanger25

    eldanger25 Professional

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    I've just finished reading this thread cover to cover, and want to thank all who participated - just a great, interesting, educational read. Much appreciated.
     
  17. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Yes if Federer won the YEC I'd have called him the #1 player despite less points. He'd have led the h2h with Djokovic 3-2 and won more big titles.
     
  18. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    So perhaps he was the number 1 player of 2003 according to your metric
     
  19. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe, the way he won the YEC was special. I think if it was the 50's we'd be calling it a tie.
     
  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    That's for what computers are.
     
  21. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Wouldn`t it be possible then, based in modern day rankings, assign points to the results of the players in contention for the first spot in the early years of the open era. Maybe, for instance, the difference between Vilas and Borg in 1977 is bigger than the difference between Federer and Roddick in 2003. No one is giving Federer a chance for the number one that year, but many do for Borg in 1977, Rosewall in 1971, etc
     
  22. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, which is why I've said to Bobby in the past I don't really like the joint #1 rankings for certain years. On a computer someone would be #1 even if the difference was minute.
     
  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Nobody can avoid to give some joint rankings (not even only at the No.1 place) because it often happens (by reality, coincidence, mathematics) that two (or even three) players have ammassed the same amount of achievements. It would be unfair in those cases (years) to give one player the No.1 place and the other the No.2.

    How difficult a fair distinction is can we see that for several years there are true experts who give player A the top spot (for instance Borg for 1977) and other true experts who give it to player B (Vilas). And the computer player C (Connors).

    Even after 44 years of studying tennis history, I just cannot decide if Budge or Vines was better in 1938, if Gonzalez or Hoad was stronger in 1959, if Gonzalez or Rosewall deserves the top place for 1961 (Dan has an easy job in claiming Hoad was No.1.....), if Laver or Rosewall of Newcombe was No.1 in 1970, if Nastase or Newcombe was the king in 1973 and so on.
     
  24. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    To give an example Bobby, Federer in 2003 had just under 96.5% of the points of Roddick. Some systems may not have noticed a difference or may have given Federer the ranking based on different weightings. And yet it was Roddick was #1 for 2003. On a computer based system someone would have been #1 in 1938, however slim the margin.

    In 2013 Djokvic had 94% of the points of Nadal and there was some debate over the #1 player.

    I don't think it's fair to count joint #1 places the same as clear #1 places, nor do I think it's fair to award them only for years in the pre-open era when some years since then have had close final tallies too.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Why so critical? Who has claimed that a joint No.1 place counts the same as a clear No.1 place?? Who has said joint No.1 places should be awarded only for years in pre-open era?? I have given examples of open era!

    You did not comment my examples.

    Computer list is not whole truth: F.i. in 1977 Connors was No.1, 1982 McEnroe was No.1. Most experts would say that Connors in 1977 and McEnroe in 1982 were not the true No.1.

    Mathematics and logic do say that if we have 20 players in a year, it's simply not possibly to differentiate all players from the next better and next worse player. It's actually possible that two or three players have achieved similary.

    Even the best expert have quarrels if Borg or Vilas or Connors is the true No.1 for 1977. Every expert has valid arguments for his claim. Their difference depends how high you value Wimbledon and hth vs majors won and tournaments won (and Computer %).

    I have seen Laver ranked No.1 for 1970 and I have seen Rosewall ranked No.1 (in a point system) and I have seen Newcombe No.1 (Collins and Tingay who both don't have Laver among the top two. Is not it a better solution to rank the three equal No.1?

    NatF, I have the impression that you are again more critical against me since you are in private contact with pc1 but of course it could be just a coincidence...;-)
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In an ideal world, in which all tournaments are rated and all outcomes are known and assigned perfect values (and no info or outcomes are lost or forgotten in the mists of history), then yes, a computer should be able to parse even minute values to see who comes out on top.

    If we had such a perfect point system, then the chances of two players after every match of the year ending up with exactly the same score out to five or six decimal places would be extremely remote.
     
  27. SpicyCurry1990

    SpicyCurry1990 Hall of Fame

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    Two issues.

    First, using a computer to assign point values and retroactively assign YE #1s now, destroys all context of the time. Since the mid-80s there has been a clearly defined point system in place that all players were aware of and had the picture for to plan their schedules with. All tournaments are clearly defined into tiered structures and their value is gauged. It stands to reason in this system that even minute differences lend credence to one player having a better season. This system has been polished in 1990 and then again in 2000 and 2008 to produce what we have now.

    If you were to plug in values for tournaments from prior seasons in the 70s or before this would lead to credibility issues because this clearly defined hierarchy was not present. You had multiple tours going on and you had some highly touted events on one tour scoring 0 points for events on another tour. In some seasons (like the 64 pro tour for example) you had a points system in place that did not actually weight titles based on how important they were like today's system does. This is why you had situations with Connors winning ATP points #1, but other players winning player of the year several years.

    You can't simply retroactively assign importance and then make undisputed #1 determinations based on this system when there wasn't the same degree of organization 1990+ has shown.

    Second, even with this great system in place, there is still opportunity for disagreement, it just rarely happens. An example would be if a player wins 2 slams in a year and another player scores more ATP points. In that scenario it is perfectly valid to have a split #1 such as Becker/Lendl 89.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No1 is not a matter of points but an exercise of sinthetism, common sense and judgement ability as well as setting clear priorities

    Take 1976.While Borg and Connors had a QF defeat at one slam, Borg won Wimbledon and the WCT title and lost the USO F to Connors.

    That happened to be Connors only final round showing at a major that year.

    None of both played the AO or the Masters and Connors did not enter RG and did not qualify for the WCT showcase.

    Now...what does your common sense dictates?

    Oh yeah¡¡ Oh yeah¡¡¡
     
  29. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I wasn't saying we should retroactively go back and assign values to past tournaments - that would be meaningless. My point was that under a system like the one we have today there would be a #1 player.

    Years like 1964, 1961 I have my personal opinion of who was number 1 for example - I could probably say the same for a number of disputed years. Not that my opinion carries special weight but I personally think you should be able to determine a number 1 player, even if the edge is small.

    I realize such a thing is not possible for older era's, I still feel joint #1 is a cop out sometimes. Maybe to give a favorite a little more credit.

    Sorry if you feel I've been harsh to you recently Bobby, unintentional - not been the best week for me. I will attempt to get back to our ceasefire ;)

    I didn't weigh in on those examples because I haven't got a good understanding of those years to be able to comment. I do recall thinking Connors shouldn't be #1 in 1977 when I looked it up months back.

    I guess you hadn't claimed that joint places are equal to dominant places, my mistake. It was just an impression I had.

    I do think it's possible to make a judgement call for better or worse. Might be fun to go through the years and look at the examples. Would help my knowledge. Maybe at some point we can discuss in depth some of those examples.

    I can understand your point of view, if two players are so close together then why separate them. But I feel no two sets of achievements are identical - therefore even if the difference is small the edge has to go one player. In situations like this I'd probably differ to the h2h or win loss records. Equal achievements but player A had the edge against B in one on one matches - A is the #1 player.
     
  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Spicy, Thanks for this explanation.
     
  31. eldanger25

    eldanger25 Professional

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    Nah, Dallas wasn't a major that year - no Connors (#1 player that year) or Nasty (#3) - big problems for an event where everybody gets a bye to the QFs off the bat. Hunt landing Connors for the 1977 edition was a big get, and if Borg didn't break his contract that year maybe WCT gets even bigger and has more leverage against competing tours in future battles. I appreciate your love for the Dallas event and the WCT generally - the Hunt family oughta get you a small stipend in their will at this point - but as far as '76 goes, that dog don't hunt.

    I'm with krosero, roughly-speaking: either you stand fast with the traditional 4 majors, even during their down periods, or you look at items like strength and size of draw etc. for individual seasons, and analyze accordingly (the Sgt. John model of adding up top events to a score of 4 is also interesting).

    In that respect, after you get past SW19 and the Open, I think events/draws like Philadelphia and IW were tougher and more impressive than either Dallas or the Masters that year (though Dallas was a good win for Borg of course). And Connors beat Borg at every meeting, and on every surface, that season. Same # of majors, double the title count, more big titles, higher ATP ranking (not conclusive but relevant), better w/p against the field, perfect h2h record against the rival. That's a #1 season by my count - Jimbo '76.

    I think Borg for '77 as well, for similar reasons. Vilas camped out on clay that year for the most part - though if you want to hold tight to the traditional majors model (rather than peering closer at where the best players played all year), maybe you go Vilas.
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Thanks for your nice words. Have a better time next week!

    I don't think it's a cop out or a subjective issue ranking two players on the same level. Of course it would be bad to give tied No.1 rankings in order to give your own favourite more credit.

    You write "no two sets of achievements are identical" but that's exactly the problem we have when ranking top players: There are several criteria to judge players for a given year (or generally): Wimbledon (as the top event), the 4 majors generally, WTF, tournaments generally, Wimbledon and majors' finals and SFs reached, hth between the two contenders, hth generally, Davis Cup, Olympics...

    Serious ranking depends how one values one criterion in comparison to another one. It's the weighing of the several criteria to each other.

    It can be in a given year that player A wins Wimbledon, reaches the finals of two more majors and wins the Davis Cup whereas player B wins two GS tournaments, also WTF and wins more tournaments than A. Whom shall we prefer? Hth could make the matter even more difficult.

    Let's take 1973: Newcombe won two GS tournaments (one the most significant of the year, the other one a weak event) plus won the Davis Cup against USA. Nastase won only one GS tournament but won many more tournaments and matches than Newcombe. Who is the true No.1 player? Actually there are experts who prefer Newcombe and others who prefer Nastase. Is not it more fair to give a tied No.1? 1970 to 1972 are similar cases.
     
  33. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    If Nadal wins the U.S Open while say Djokovic takes the WTF and some other tourneys perhaps, you could see Djokovic at #1 by year's end. Nadal would have two majors won though. That is a potential scenario, so it'll be interesting to see how 2014 plays out. Maybe we have two surprise winners instead.
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Dallas had a top five field

    Anyhow, I would certainly welcome a " small stipend" from the Hunt family¡¡¡
     
  35. eldanger25

    eldanger25 Professional

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    You and me both - I'm sure they can carve out a few tax write-offs for us 70s tennis fans.
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    They should do that.Money is not their problem I guess...
     
  37. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I do think it is possible.

    Using today's point system, for example, we could evaluate 1977 more exactly, and decide on a single individual.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree with the both of you.
     
  39. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1959: Gonzales/Hoad
     
  40. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Gardnar Mulloy rated Hoad number 1 for 1961, based on hth with Gonzales.
     
  41. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    There actually was a point system used for the 1959 tournament season, but the ranking conflicted with the four-man championship tour which Gonzales won on money earnings, although losing his hth with Hoad.

    Hoad won the 14 tournament series and bonus pool on points.

    The four-man that year was not a round robin, but a qualification series, and the matches concentrated on two head-to-heads, Hoad/Gonzales and Cooper/Anderson.
     
  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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  44. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1972 - Was Smith really the YE #1? What about Nastase?

    Not saying for sure that Nastase should be the number 1 for the year - but a strong case could be made.

    Stan's record highlights from 1972:

    - Wimbledon (winning over Nastase in the final) - but it was a depleted field at Wimbledon.

    - Made 11 finals winning 9 of them

    - Beside Wimbledon Smith's top tournament wins were Pacific Southwest in LA and Stockholm

    - Was in the Davis Cup winning team (US over Romania). Smith beat Nastase in the final.

    Nastase's record in 1972:

    - Won US Open

    - Won Masters

    - Made Wimbledon final (again a depleted field)

    - Made 16 finals winning 12 of them

    - Beside US Open and Masters - Nastase's top tournament wins were Monte Carlo and Canada


    At least a case could be made for Nastase being 1972 YE #1. (The official H2H was 4 to 1 in Smith's favour - but I rate achievement way over H2H).
     
  45. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    (Don't shoot the messenger.)

    It would seem to be about accumulated points.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    True enough.

    I would tend to think in 1969 that Roche had a better year than Newcombe. Roche won seven tournaments that year including the US Pro and was in the finals of the US Open. Newcombe I think won two or three tournaments including the Italian Open and was in the finals of Wimbledon.

    Overall for career Newcombe was far superior than Roche. However, and this is a subjective opinion, I do think Roche was perhaps a bit better than Newcombe when both were at their best. All debatable. If someone told me Newcombe was better at his best I would not complain.

    Newcombe in my opinion had several better years than Roche's best year in of the Open Era in 1969. I think you could argue Newk's years in 1970, 1971, 1972 (perhaps), 1973 and 1974 were superior to Roche's best year of the Open Era in 1969.
     
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think the HtH counts here.Smith won two out of three big matches against Nastase in 1972, even if all those matches were five setters.
     
  49. 5555

    5555 Hall of Fame

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    hoodjem, you should put Nole as WORLD NO. 1 for 2014. It's clear now.
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Well said.If you take Nasty from July 72 ( a Wimbledon final he barely lost) to June 73 ( a devastating FO win) , that is, 12 month period, his season looks stellar IMO
     

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