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Old 02-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
Dan Lobb
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timnz View Post
I thought it would be interesting to compare top players time range from when they first became number 1 to when they were last number 1. This statistic would be indicative to their longevity at playing at the very top level. What I am giving here is the maximum possible ranges, so to avoid controversy I am choosing as their start and end times when a reasonable number of commentators said that they were number 1 - even if it wasn't universal. Also I need to make it clear that when I say 9 years for Connors say, it doesn't mean he was number 1 for 9 years continuously - just 9 years between when he was first number 1 to last number 1. So the point of this thread isn't to argue about if they were or weren't - it is the maximum possible range of time that someone was first number 1 to last being number 1). I haven't always followed the ATP rankings. But pre-open era I have used

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World-n...layer_rankings

This is not perfect I know - but it is indicative.

ATP rankings are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ingles_players

Tilden - 11 yrs (1920 to 1931)
Rosewall - 11 or 10 yrs (late 1960 to perhaps 1970 or 1971)
Pancho Gonzales - 9 yrs (1952 to 1961)
Connors - 9 yrs (July 1974 to July 1983)
Agassi - 8.5 yrs (Early 1995 to Late 2003)
* Federer - 8.5 yrs (Early 2004 to Late 2012)
Sampras - 7.5 years (early 1993 to late 2000)
Lendl - 7.5 yrs (Early 1983 to late 1990)
Laver - 7 years (mid 1964 to mid 1971)
Perry - 7 yrs (1934 to 1941)
Kramer - 6 or 5 years (1947/1948 to 1953)
Borg - 5 or 4 yrs (depending on who you talk to - ended Mid 1981)
Budge - 5 or 4 yrs (depending on who you talk to - 1938??? - 1942/1943???)
Vines - 5 yrs (1932 to 1937)
McEnroe - 4 yrs (Mid 1981 to Mid 1985)
* Nadal - 3 yrs (mid 2008 to mid 2011)

Note: * players still playing (hence may add to time yet).
A reasonable list, although the length of years ranked as number one does not always coincide with a player's peak years.
For example, Rosewall probably reached his peak about 1957, but did not achieve a number one ranking until 1960 (?) (Gonzales dominated him in 1960) or 1961.
Would it not make more sense to look at the date when a player won his/her first major title and last major title? This would assume that by winning a major event, they had demonstrated reaching a certain peak level.
Some years have more severe competition than others, and a player can wait to be recognized as number one.

Last edited by Dan Lobb : 02-01-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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