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timnz 04-21-2013 11:50 AM

Updated Open era rankings
 
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

Goosehead 04-21-2013 08:30 PM

so djokovic is up with 'the legends' already then.

sunof tennis 04-22-2013 07:07 AM

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

Phoenix1983 04-22-2013 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunof tennis (Post 7361047)
Sorry.
Any formula that has Lendl over Borg and Sampras must be fatally deficient.

+1.

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

timnz 04-22-2013 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phoenix1983 (Post 7361226)
+1.

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

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.

mattennis 04-22-2013 12:25 PM

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).

DropShotArtist 04-22-2013 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361710)
Question is why not? There was no subjectivity in my rankings - it just laid out what the players career achievements are. 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

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.

JMR 04-22-2013 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361710)
There was no subjectivity in my rankings

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

timnz 04-22-2013 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunof tennis (Post 7361047)
Sorry.
Any formula that has Lendl over Borg and Sampras must be fatally deficient.

How? See my reasons in the thread above.

timnz 04-22-2013 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattennis (Post 7361745)
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).

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.

timnz 04-22-2013 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMR (Post 7361788)
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

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.

JMR 04-22-2013 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361836)
But where did your weighting come from?

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.

Quote:

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?
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.

DropShotArtist 04-22-2013 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361836)
\\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.

QFT...........

JMR 04-22-2013 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361822)
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...

Subjective.

Quote:

I thought the way to deal with this is to only talk about the substantial titles.
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.

droliver 04-22-2013 01:42 PM

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.

timnz 04-22-2013 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMR (Post 7361903)
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.

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.

timnz 04-22-2013 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by droliver (Post 7361918)
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.

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.

timnz 04-22-2013 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by droliver (Post 7361918)
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.

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?

smoledman 04-22-2013 02:05 PM

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

mattennis 04-22-2013 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7361822)
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.

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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