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-   -   Help me compare across eras! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=463696)

jg153040 05-16-2013 03:45 AM

Help me compare across eras!
 
I made a system how to convert greatness to numberss. For more details see my post : The Greatness Formula in the Current Pro players forum.

It is like this:
13 weeks nr.1 = 1 slam point
1 major = 1 slam point
Career slam = 1 slam point
Calendar Grand Slam = 2 slam points

So for example Federer: 23,2 + 17 + 1 + 0 = 41,2.

But I don't have much knowledge of history. How would you translate rankings and slam won from Laver or Rosewall.

boredone3456 05-16-2013 04:25 AM

I think in order to compare eras you need to understand that solely using majors will skew your system. Back in the early 80's and before the Australian was massively under attended and therefore players who skipped it come off worse in your rankings and others who did well there move up. Modern players have more chances for points in your system based on that.

Also, how do you account from the pro majors won by guys like laver and Rosewall when they went pro? Do you just count them an a major like the traditional 4? Because if you want to compare eras you really need to address this issue. If you do then how would you calculate Emerson who dominated the amateur game? Are you saying the pro and amateur slams will hold the same weight? 1 point? Because there will be people who will bitterly challenge you. Or are you saying the pro slams don't count at all? This is a huge era difference right there.

Also...as was said in the other thread..you need to award some kind of points for slam finals and career titles...the majors are 2 months out of a 10 month season now...you cannot just selectively throw everything else out.

jg153040 05-16-2013 04:50 AM

I don't know about pro majors. That is why I'm asking here if you guys have any ideas to translate them into this system. And how many weeks was Laver nr.1?
Or other older greats. I didn't see them play that is why I'm asking here.

Slam finals and tournaments won are all reflected in weeks being nr.1.
The more you have, more time you will have spent being nr.1.

So 13 weeks being nr.1 = 1 slam won.

mightyrick 05-16-2013 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boredone3456 (Post 7415674)
Also, how do you account from the pro majors won by guys like laver and Rosewall when they went pro? Do you just count them an a major like the traditional 4? Because if you want to compare eras you really need to address this issue. If you do then how would you calculate Emerson who dominated the amateur game? Are you saying the pro and amateur slams will hold the same weight? 1 point? Because there will be people who will bitterly challenge you. Or are you saying the pro slams don't count at all? This is a huge era difference right there.

Also...as was said in the other thread..you need to award some kind of points for slam finals and career titles...the majors are 2 months out of a 10 month season now...you cannot just selectively throw everything else out.

Yep, this has always been the problem. The debate on how to count the amateur and Pro Slams against Open Era records.

Some (myself included) take Pro Slams (and WTF/Masters) to be even more valuable than Open Era majors because the field is the best-of-the-best -- there are no scrubs. Others consider Pro Slams/WTF/Masters less valuable because they think it is harder to beat scrubs for a few rounds and then have to beat the tough opponents.

The amateur issue is even tougher. It was well known that the best players of the pre-Open Era amateurs could have beaten many "Professionals". But some amateurs were paid (under the table) to stay amateur and not go pro. As you've stated, Emerson was one of these. It was believed at his top amateur level that Emerson could have beaten Laver and Rosewall on some grass venues. At the end of his amateur career, there was no question that Laver could have beaten professionals already. In his first year out of the amateurs and into the professional league, he made the finals of the US and French Pro.

I've always struggled to quantify the amateur achievements, because it ends up being a bunch of hypothetical and circumstantial considerations.

jg153040 05-16-2013 07:03 AM

I guess it is impossible. Let's hope they don't change the main format of slams and rankings for the next 50 years.

At least we can compare last 40 years maybe.

BobbyOne 05-16-2013 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7415865)
Yep, this has always been the problem. The debate on how to count the amateur and Pro Slams against Open Era records.

Some (myself included) take Pro Slams (and WTF/Masters) to be even more valuable than Open Era majors because the field is the best-of-the-best -- there are no scrubs. Others consider Pro Slams/WTF/Masters less valuable because they think it is harder to beat scrubs for a few rounds and then have to beat the tough opponents.

The amateur issue is even tougher. It was well known that the best players of the pre-Open Era amateurs could have beaten many "Professionals". But some amateurs were paid (under the table) to stay amateur and not go pro. As you've stated, Emerson was one of these. It was believed at his top amateur level that Emerson could have beaten Laver and Rosewall on some grass venues. At the end of his amateur career, there was no question that Laver could have beaten professionals already. In his first year out of the amateurs and into the professional league, he made the finals of the US and French Pro.

I've always struggled to quantify the amateur achievements, because it ends up being a bunch of hypothetical and circumstantial considerations.

mightyrick,

I doubt that Emerson could have beaten Laver and Rosewall and won grass majors.

NatF 05-16-2013 01:58 PM

Laver after winning the grand slam in 1962 entered the pro ranks and could only win 2 of his first 19 matches against Hoad and Rosewall. The gulf between the tours was enourmous.

Mustard 05-16-2013 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg153040 (Post 7415715)
I don't know about pro majors.

It wasn't until the start of the open era in April 1968 that professional players could play alongside amateur players in the same mainstream tournaments, including the 4 majors. Before this time, professional tennis players were banned from the mainstream tournaments, including the mainstream majors. Professional players at this time played in head-to-head world pro tours (the biggest events in professional tennis), and their own tournaments, including professional majors (French Pro, Wembley Pro, US Pro) and other big professional tournaments that were very big for their time (World Pro in 1932-1933, Tournament of Champions 1956-1959, Wimbledon Pro of 1967 etc.)

The vast majority of tennis players at this time (pre-1968 ) were amateurs, and thus did not openly or officially play for any prize money. Only amateurs could enter the 4 majors as we know them today. Professional tennis at that time was mostly for the world's best, in a dog-eat-dog world where the business side of tennis fought and struggled to find money to run the costs of the professional tour and pay as many of the players as possible. Results were paramount in the long term, because if you failed to get consistent results as a professional player, you couldn't just reamateurise without permission from the national federations, which was seldom given.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg153040 (Post 7415715)
That is why I'm asking here if you guys have any ideas to translate them into this system.

In the 1920s, the top amateurs were better players than the top professionals, as professional players at that time were mostly teachers who couldn't play amateur tennis due to their paid status as teachers. In the 1930s, it was neck and neck after notable players such as Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry and Don Budge turned professional throughout the decade. After Jack Kramer became the best professional player in the world in 1948 after toppling Bobby Riggs on their world pro tour, the best professional players were better than the best amateur players from that moment on. As NatF mentions above, the Rod Laver that won the Grand Slam in 1962 was not the best player in the world, because the top professional players like Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad and Andres Gimeno (Pancho Gonzales having gone into an 18 month retirement at the end of 1961) were all better than Laver at that time.

Somebody who is ignorant about the pro-am split in tennis history is going to think that players like Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Tony Trabert or Ashley Cooper were the best players of the 1950s in terms of achievements. In reality, the best players of the 1950s were Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman, Pancho Segura and Jack Kramer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg153040 (Post 7415715)
And how many weeks was Laver nr.1?

Before the start of the ATP world rankings in 1973, there were no official world rankings. And to be honest, it's clear that the credibility of the ATP rankings was extremely suspect until the mid-1980s or so.

boredone3456 05-16-2013 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg153040 (Post 7415715)
I don't know about pro majors. That is why I'm asking here if you guys have any ideas to translate them into this system. And how many weeks was Laver nr.1?
Or other older greats. I didn't see them play that is why I'm asking here.

Slam finals and tournaments won are all reflected in weeks being nr.1.
The more you have, more time you will have spent being nr.1.

So 13 weeks being nr.1 = 1 slam won.

Actually no slam finals do not reflect totally in whether you are number 1 or not. Andy Murray has won a slew of masters shields and made 4 slam finals and has never been number 1. They are 2 totally different things. That is way to much streamlining for the sake of simplicity on your part.

Slam wins and weeks #1 are not the be all and end all of greatness. As I have said tennis now has evolved to a 10 month season with many big non major tournaments. You have created a system that is way to simple and based around arbitrary numbers.

As for using weeks at number one that is entirely sketchy before the computer was invented as the ranking were determined by experts making and publishing lists based on their interpretations of players performances. Depending on who was making the list different people could be number 1. I think they used to vote by committee to instead of by computer didn't they (someone confirm this?). Now we have points and a computer...past eras didn't have this concrete system.

Its a valiant effort but it falls short as it is way to simplistic and would only work for the open era in probably the last 30 years when the Aussie was mass attended most years.

BobbyOne 05-16-2013 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7418373)
Laver after winning the grand slam in 1962 entered the pro ranks and could only win 2 of his first 19 matches against Hoad and Rosewall. The gulf between the tours was enourmous.

NatF, I'm glad I can agree with you finally.

mightyrick 05-16-2013 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7418373)
Laver after winning the grand slam in 1962 entered the pro ranks and could only win 2 of his first 19 matches against Hoad and Rosewall. The gulf between the tours was enourmous.

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it is right to discount Laver going to all of those finals right out of the amateur ranks. Clearly Laver could beat 90% of the professionals right out of the chute.

That is my point. Emerson was the #1 amateur player in '64 and '65. There is little question the Emerson would have been able to already beat 90% of the tour. The guy was that talented.

Obviously, I can't say for certain how Emerson would have done. It's all hypothetical. I can only say that Emerson was one of the most talented grass players ever... and certainly more of a grass specialist than Laver.

But it's all hypothetical.

BobbyOne 05-16-2013 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7418553)
I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it is right to discount Laver going to all of those finals right out of the amateur ranks. Clearly Laver could beat 90% of the professionals right out of the chute.

That is my point. Emerson was the #1 amateur player in '64 and '65. There is little question the Emerson would have been able to already beat 90% of the tour. The guy was that talented.

Obviously, I can't say for certain how Emerson would have done. It's all hypothetical. I can only say that Emerson was one of the most talented grass players ever... and certainly more of a grass specialist than Laver.

But it's all hypothetical.

I disagree. Emerson was not very talented. Laver (and Rosewall) was a better grass court player. L&R would have been a too heavy obstacle for Emmo.

Mustard 05-16-2013 04:07 PM

Emerson would have become an even better player had he turned professional earlier than 1968. He chose to stay an amateur because of the Davis Cup and the relationship with Harry Hopman. Emerson was also allegedly paid money under the table to stay amateur.

timnz 05-16-2013 04:24 PM

Emerson
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BobbyOne (Post 7418649)
I disagree. Emerson was not very talented. Laver (and Rosewall) was a better grass court player. L&R would have been a too heavy obstacle for Emmo.

The fact that Emerson beat a peak, pro tour hardened laver - 4 times in 1968, all in straight sets * - when Emerson was already well into his 30's, tells me everything I need to know about Emerson. Specifically it tells me that if he had gone professional at the same time as Laver he would have been very much into the mix as a Pro.

(Yes, Laver won matches against Emerson in 1968, but that beside the point, which is that he was capable of beating a peak laver 4 times in straight sets when he was well past his peak.)

mightyrick 05-16-2013 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7418746)
The fact that Emerson beat a peak, pro tour hardened laver - 4 times in 1968, all in straight sets * - when Emerson was already well into his 30's, tells me everything I need to know about Emerson. Specifically it tells me that if he had gone professional at the same time as Laver he would have been very much into the mix as a Pro.

(Yes, Laver won matches against Emerson in 1968, but that beside the point, which is that he was capable of beating a peak laver 4 times in straight sets when he was well past his peak.)

And this was my point. Emerson is frequently underrated by many people. Emerson has unbelievable H2H against these players.

Unfortunately for him, he decided to not go pro until a little later. I'm sure he was probably given incentive (paid under the table) to not go pro. Because he was clearly good enough to go pro in '64.

urban 05-16-2013 09:08 PM

Imo the gulf between the amateur and pro tours was not enormous. Yes, the standard of the top pros was substantially higher, and the newly turned pro had to learn and improve his game. But the first matches between the older pros and the newer pros are always a bit misleading, because of surface and format.
Take for instance, the Kramer vs. Gonzalez tour, end 49/50. The tour was played to a great deal indoors, beginning at MSG New York. Kramer was far more experienced on the indoor tour, while Gonzalez hadn't played much indoors as an amateur. And Kramer had also the experience in long personal mano a mano tours, while Gonzalez knew only the amateur tournament format. Result was, that before Gonzalez could settle, he was down 7-50, and lost the whole series 27-101. But that was not the real distance between those giants. Since mid 1950, Gonzalez held his own against Kramer, and had even a slight lead in their later hth.
In the later world series, Gonzalez always had the advantage of format and surface. In 1956,Trabert, who was very good on hard and clay, never got the chance to play there in his series with Gonzalez. In 1957, Rosewall did very well in the initial matches on Australian grass, but couldn't cope with the indoor conditions, when the tour was continued in the US. In 1958, Hoad, who already had a half year of pro experience under his belt, got a big lead in their Australian grass encounters with Gonzalez.
In January 1963, amateur Laver had to play Hoad and Rosewall always in a double header for a month. On Australian grass he did not that bad. In January 1963, he beat the pro champion Rosewall, i think at Adelaide 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 or something, certainly not a gulf between the "amateur" and older pros. Laver broke down in the later part of the double headers in January in New Zealand, but most of the tour was played indoors (thanks to the findings of Krosero), a playing condition, that Laver as an amateur didn't know. He had played only one indoor tournament before, the US indoor in 1962, when he got an invitation from the USTA. The pro World Series in spring 1963 was again played mostly indoors. Again, even then "amateur" Laver dominated Gimeno and ended second only to Rosewall. And if one closely looks at their hth series, after a slow start, Laver got a string of wins against the champ Rosewall (winning at MSG 6-0, 6-3), but lost the personal matchup against a stepping up Rosewall at the end of the tour, many losses coming after the whole thing was decided.
When Laver had got accostumed to format and surface in mid 1963, he began to win important pro tournaments (3 in a row in Europe) and was challenging Rosewall severly, due to the testament of the promoters Trabert and Sedgman, who did run the pro tour. Rosewall remained the Nr. 1 in the 1963 season, no doubt, but after learning the format for half a year, Laver had closed the gap substantially.

jg153040 05-16-2013 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boredone3456 (Post 7418420)
Actually no slam finals do not reflect totally in whether you are number 1 or not. Andy Murray has won a slew of masters shields and made 4 slam finals and has never been number 1. They are 2 totally different things. That is way to much streamlining for the sake of simplicity on your part.

Slam wins and weeks #1 are not the be all and end all of greatness. As I have said tennis now has evolved to a 10 month season with many big non major tournaments. You have created a system that is way to simple and based around arbitrary numbers.

As for using weeks at number one that is entirely sketchy before the computer was invented as the ranking were determined by experts making and publishing lists based on their interpretations of players performances. Depending on who was making the list different people could be number 1. I think they used to vote by committee to instead of by computer didn't they (someone confirm this?). Now we have points and a computer...past eras didn't have this concrete system.

Its a valiant effort but it falls short as it is way to simplistic and would only work for the open era in probably the last 30 years when the Aussie was mass attended most years.

My system is only for the greats. Not for comparing lower ranked players.
Just for the elite. Just for the best in the era. Slam finals are reflected in rankings. Because there is no way a person with most finals can be better than the guy who is ranked nr.1. So if most finals or more finals don't get you nr.1 and win you slams you are not the best. It is simple. I'm only comparing the elite. And I think it is enough simple system to compare the elites.
For lower players is more complicated but I'm not trying to compare them.

I agree about rankings before 1980. That is the purpose of this tread. How to somehow put them into the same format. But I guess it is almost impossible.
I guess maybe we should have split systems. Modern and pre Modern. My system works well with Modern era and in the future, providing that format remains somewhat similar.

jg153040 05-16-2013 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 7418404)
It wasn't until the start of the open era in April 1968 that professional players could play alongside amateur players in the same mainstream tournaments, including the 4 majors. Before this time, professional tennis players were banned from the mainstream tournaments, including the mainstream majors. Professional players at this time played in head-to-head world pro tours (the biggest events in professional tennis), and their own tournaments, including professional majors (French Pro, Wembley Pro, US Pro) and other big professional tournaments that were very big for their time (World Pro in 1932-1933, Tournament of Champions 1956-1959, Wimbledon Pro of 1967 etc.)

The vast majority of tennis players at this time (pre-1968 ) were amateurs, and thus did not openly or officially play for any prize money. Only amateurs could enter the 4 majors as we know them today. Professional tennis at that time was mostly for the world's best, in a dog-eat-dog world where the business side of tennis fought and struggled to find money to run the costs of the professional tour and pay as many of the players as possible. Results were paramount in the long term, because if you failed to get consistent results as a professional player, you couldn't just reamateurise without permission from the national federations, which was seldom given.



In the 1920s, the top amateurs were better players than the top professionals, as professional players at that time were mostly teachers who couldn't play amateur tennis due to their paid status as teachers. In the 1930s, it was neck and neck after notable players such as Bill Tilden, Henri Cochet, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry and Don Budge turned professional throughout the decade. After Jack Kramer became the best professional player in the world in 1948 after toppling Bobby Riggs on their world pro tour, the best professional players were better than the best amateur players from that moment on. As NatF mentions above, the Rod Laver that won the Grand Slam in 1962 was not the best player in the world, because the top professional players like Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad and Andres Gimeno (Pancho Gonzales having gone into an 18 month retirement at the end of 1961) were all better than Laver at that time.

Somebody who is ignorant about the pro-am split in tennis history is going to think that players like Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Tony Trabert or Ashley Cooper were the best players of the 1950s in terms of achievements. In reality, the best players of the 1950s were Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman, Pancho Segura and Jack Kramer.



Before the start of the ATP world rankings in 1973, there were no official world rankings. And to be honest, it's clear that the credibility of the ATP rankings was extremely suspect until the mid-1980s or so.

Thanks for your feedback. Really appreciate it. Ok now I know I have to split the system for modern and pre modern era. So how to translate weeks nr.1 and slams won from the pre modern era? Maybe we should get historians and experts to vote based on the numbers. And to use a system most people will vote. Because if you somehow translate success from previous generations to weeks nr.1 or slams won you can compare. It is subjective of course. But it is still based on real numbers and logic. So if most experts vote for example that Laver was nr.1 for most weeks and that pro majors should count then ok. We have at least something. I'm trying to get as close to objective as possible. Not trying to be perfect. Just to accept general consensus.

Flash O'Groove 05-17-2013 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 7419240)
Imo the gulf between the amateur and pro tours was not enormous. Yes, the standard of the top pros was substantially higher, and the newly turned pro had to learn and improve his game. But the first matches between the older pros and the newer pros are always a bit misleading, because of surface and format.
Take for instance, the Kramer vs. Gonzalez tour, end 49/50. The tour was played to a great deal indoors, beginning at MSG New York. Kramer was far more experienced on the indoor tour, while Gonzalez hadn't played much indoors as an amateur. And Kramer had also the experience in long personal mano a mano tours, while Gonzalez knew only the amateur tournament format. Result was, that before Gonzalez could settle, he was down 7-50, and lost the whole series 27-101. But that was not the real distance between those giants. Since mid 1950, Gonzalez held his own against Kramer, and had even a slight lead in their later hth.
In the later world series, Gonzalez always had the advantage of format and surface. In 1956,Trabert, who was very good on hard and clay, never got the chance to play there in his series with Gonzalez. In 1957, Rosewall did very well in the initial matches on Australian grass, but couldn't cope with the indoor conditions, when the tour was continued in the US. In 1958, Hoad, who already had a half year of pro experience under his belt, got a big lead in their Australian grass encounters with Gonzalez.
In January 1963, amateur Laver had to play Hoad and Rosewall always in a double header for a month. On Australian grass he did not that bad. In January 1963, he beat the pro champion Rosewall, i think at Adelaide 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 or something, certainly not a gulf between the "amateur" and older pros. Laver broke down in the later part of the double headers in January in New Zealand, but most of the tour was played indoors (thanks to the findings of Krosero), a playing condition, that Laver as an amateur didn't know. He had played only one indoor tournament before, the US indoor in 1962, when he got an invitation from the USTA. The pro World Series in spring 1963 was again played mostly indoors. Again, even then "amateur" Laver dominated Gimeno and ended second only to Rosewall. And if one closely looks at their hth series, after a slow start, Laver got a string of wins against the champ Rosewall (winning at MSG 6-0, 6-3), but lost the personal matchup against a stepping up Rosewall at the end of the tour, many losses coming after the whole thing was decided.
When Laver had got accostumed to format and surface in mid 1963, he began to win important pro tournaments (3 in a row in Europe) and was challenging Rosewall severly, due to the testament of the promoters Trabert and Sedgman, who did run the pro tour. Rosewall remained the Nr. 1 in the 1963 season, no doubt, but after learning the format for half a year, Laver had closed the gap substantially.

I totally subscribe to this. Laver needed some adaptation to the pro tour and he lost a lot of matches in the pro tour of the early 1963. But this adaptation didn't take long at all. In the pro major later this year, he was a finalist at the USpro and at the Frenchpro, where he lost in 5 sets to Rosewall. He was beaten in his first match in Wembley by Bucholz, but he beat him in other occasion. At the end of the year, he was clearly the second best player in the world.

This suggest that at least some of the top amateurs could compete with at least the second tier of pro players, who include everyone but Rosewall, Laver, and in-form Hoad and Gonzales.

boredone3456 05-17-2013 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg153040 (Post 7419374)
My system is only for the greats. Not for comparing lower ranked players.
Just for the elite. Just for the best in the era. Slam finals are reflected in rankings. Because there is no way a person with most finals can be better than the guy who is ranked nr.1. So if most finals or more finals don't get you nr.1 and win you slams you are not the best. It is simple. I'm only comparing the elite. And I think it is enough simple system to compare the elites.
For lower players is more complicated but I'm not trying to compare them.

I agree about rankings before 1980. That is the purpose of this tread. How to somehow put them into the same format. But I guess it is almost impossible.
I guess maybe we should have split systems. Modern and pre Modern. My system works well with Modern era and in the future, providing that format remains somewhat similar.

Like I said in my opinion your system is way to simplistic and arbitrary. You give 3 different point categories for majors then say everything else factors into weeks at #1 and say that covers it all. That is way to simple...greatness is not that easy sorry. No one calls Court the GOAT and she has more slams than anyone...that alone should tell you something. Your system is insanely biased towards major victories in my opinion.

As for putting past greats into this system it is virtually impossible as there was no computer rankings and it would force you to recognize tournaments that are not majors...which you seem totally unwilling to do.

Like I said..valiant effort...but way to simple.to be of any real use.


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