Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I'm glad that a popular documentary about Vilas has been made, but retrospectively changing the method of calculating rankings is not 'correcting the record'.
 

bobcolbert

New User
I'm glad that a popular documentary about Vilas has been made, but retrospectively changing the method of calculating rankings is not 'correcting the record'.
No, look at the documental, Puppo is not asking for a change of method, he just proves that Vilas was number one by applying the calculation method of the time !
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
No, look at the documental, Puppo is not asking for a change of method, he just proves that Vilas was number one by applying the calculation method of the time !
That is not true. He is calculating the results more frequently than the ATP did.

Using his methodology would completely change the rankings for most of the 1970s, invalidating a large swathe of tournament entries and seedings, which is obviously absurd.

You cannot rewrite history.
 

bobcolbert

New User
By recalculating the rankings every week, he corrects precisely the fault of the ATP. The ATP can't refuse this by invoking its own fault. And I think that "you cannot rewrite history" is not an argument because we rewrite history all the time ! Its the work of historians.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
By recalculating the rankings every week, he corrects precisely the fault of the ATP. The ATP can't refuse this by invoking its own fault. And I think that "you cannot rewrite history" is not an argument because we rewrite history all the time ! Its the work of historians.
Are you for real or just playing dumb? It's not the ATP's "fault" that rankings weren't calculated every week prior to 1979, or that it didn't include results from its rival tours. That's simply the way pro tennis operated back then, and there's no doubt that the players would've adjusted their habits, schedules and all that jazz accordingly had the rankings been so fluid and standardized to begin with.

Each and every era should be judged by the standards of its own time. That's History 101, and it's really embarrassing that so many of you grown-ups fail to grasp this simple truth.
 

bobcolbert

New User
Atp gave connors automatically the number one for uncomputed and unpublished weeks. Isn't that a fault ?? Isn't that even science-fiction ??
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Atp gave connors automatically the number one for uncomputed and unpublished weeks. Isn't that a fault ??
No, because at that time the rankings were never designed to be computed and published weekly. Had they been, the tour would have looked very different.

You can say weekly calculation is better, but it is not the methodology that was used at the time and you can’t retrofit it.

It would be no different to the ATP changing the methodology again in 10 years, and going back to rewrite Federer and Nadal’s rankings.
 
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bobcolbert

New User
No, because at that time the rankings were never designed to be computed and published weekly. Had they been, the tour would have looked very different.

You can say weekly calculation is better, but it is not the methodology that was used at the time and you can’t retrofit it.

It would be no different to the ATP changing the methodology again in 10 years, and going back to rewrite Federer and Nadal’s rankings.
No, because it was not a rule that rankings were not calculated or published every week. It was just a fact. A negative fact which can now be corrected. To restore the truth (according to the criteria of the time).
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
No, because it was not a rule that rankings were not calculated or published every week. It was just a fact.
It amounts to the same thing.

Those were the rankings at the time, using the methodology of the time. They were accepted at the time. Tournament entries and seeds were based on the rankings as they were calculated at the time.

You cannot retrospectively change historical facts.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
No, because it was not a rule that rankings were not calculated or published every week. It was just a fact. A negative fact which can now be corrected. To restore the truth (according to the criteria of the time).
I don’t know. What’s wrong with rankings not being published every week? No one was outraged at the time. Now they do it every week but back then they didn’t. So what? Maybe in the future they’ll do them every day. Then what? Go back into history and do them for every day? Seems like a lot of gymnastics being performed just to get him that number one. I’d be happy for him if he got it, but it’s not some kind of injustice if he doesn’t.
 

TennisDawg

Hall of Fame
Documentary was a lot of hype. So he should have been #1 is that worth all the gnashing and grinding of teeth?
 

THESEXPISTOL

Hall of Fame
That is not true. He is calculating the results more frequently than the ATP did.
Yes they are, and that's precisely what allowed them to pinpoint a ****load of mistakes the ATP did back then.
Some of Vilas' results were not considered because they failed (unintentionally or not) to include them in the ranking average maths.
By calculating the ranking for each week you can locate more precisely what results were ignored.
The ranking back then was an average. That's why playing a lot of tournaments like Vilas did was not rewarded by ranking system.
"Project V" was able to prove, using the same ranking system and the accurate data, that Vilas was indeed number #1

As for rewriting history, just look at the Olympics or Cycling where history is rewritten all the time. It's a matter of justice for those who were wronged.
If you fail to understand that, you fail to understand the pure essence of sports...
 

JCat

Rookie
Yes they are, and that's precisely what allowed them to pinpoint a ****load of mistakes the ATP did back then.
Some of Vilas' results were not considered because they failed (unintentionally or not) to include them in the ranking average maths.
By calculating the ranking for each week you can locate more precisely what results were ignored.
The ranking back then was an average. That's why playing a lot of tournaments like Vilas did was not rewarded by ranking system.
"Project V" was able to prove, using the same ranking system and the accurate data, that Vilas was indeed number #1

As for rewriting history, just look at the Olympics or Cycling where history is rewritten all the time. It's a matter of justice for those who were wronged.
If you fail to understand that, you fail to understand the pure essence of sports...
I hope that if it is decided to give him the number one ranking that they don’t wait too long. His health may be deteriorating. It would be too sad if he didn’t get to enjoy the honor.
 

encylopedia

Professional
As for rewriting history, just look at the Olympics or Cycling where history is rewritten all the time. It's a matter of justice for those who were wronged.
If you fail to understand that, you fail to understand the pure essence of sports...
Can you give some examples from those wherein the metrics for winning, or the judging criteria were changed, and medals or awards were then awarded and taken away retroactively?
 

urban

Legend
There was a scandal decision in ice skating for pairs some years ago, when a Canadian or US pair retroactively, and against the results was given a gold medal, along with a Russian pair. For doping, actually many results were changed in the Olympics and Cycling. In football, some results were changed, a remember a match, that Mönchgladbach won 7-1 over Inter Milan in 1971, that was nullified by the UEFA.
In the Vilas case, imo its not a big problem. If the ATP would just give him his justified 7 weeks at Nr. 1, all would be happy, including Connors. Its not a matter of one week, in 1974, he actually was 5 weeks in a row Nr. 1, and even in those times the ATP regularly edited rankings once in a month. It was simply a computer resp. publication failure by the ATP team, which should be corrected, simply and without any fuzz..
 

encylopedia

Professional
Are you for real or just playing dumb? It's not the ATP's "fault" that rankings weren't calculated every week prior to 1979, or that it didn't include results from its rival tours. That's simply the way pro tennis operated back then, and there's no doubt that the players would've adjusted their habits, schedules and all that jazz accordingly had the rankings been so fluid and standardized to begin with.

Each and every era should be judged by the standards of its own time. That's History 101, and it's really embarrassing that so many of you grown-ups fail to grasp this simple truth.
Terrifying that anyone can think that way. I am trying to comprehend what they think would be a valid argument for retroactively taking away player's accomplishments which were established by the known and recognized metric/paradigm of the time. Ranking systems of course have changed repeatedly, and are constantly debated (there is no clearly right or wrong way on many of the potential decisions that need to be made). When they make any change, of course they could go back, and it might well have an effect on any players who were close in ranking.

I would guess there is some personal bias or ugly jingoism that is causing people to be willfully blind to that.
 

encylopedia

Professional
There was a scandal decision in ice skating for pairs some years ago, when a Canadian or US pair retroactively, and against the results was given a gold medal, along with a Russian pair. For doping, actually many results were changed in the Olympics and Cycling. In football, some results were changed, a remember a match, that Mönchgladbach won 7-1 over Inter Milan in 1971, that was nullified by the UEFA.
ROFL. Assuming this was reply to me - that's not a reply at all to my query. I don't know anyone who object to changing results based on cheating. The person I replied to what positing that some changes analogous to changing the ranking calculations have bene retroactively applied in other sports resulting in players being penalized and rewarded.
 

urban

Legend
In the case of the Ice skating pair, nobody cheated, at least not the athletes, when the Olympic committee IOC overruled the standing result. In the case of Goolagong and the WTA, nobody cheated too. The WTA simply accepted and corrected the error, they made some 30 years ago. That's all.
 
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Cashman

Hall of Fame
In the case of the Ice skating pair, nobody cheated, at least not the athletes, when the Olympic committee IOC overruled the standing result. In the case of Goolagong and the WTA, nobody cheated too. The WTA simply accepted and corrected the error, they made some 30 years ago. That's all.
Goolagong’s case was very different to Vilas, as there were actual results missing. It wasn’t just fiddling with the calculation.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
As far as I understand some of Vilas's results were found missing from the rankings too?
I keep hearing this but it really doesn't change the equation here at all. Does anyone seriously think these researchers/superfans/fanboys/take-your-pick, assuming the same zeal and resources, wouldn't be able to come up with similar findings for other players, too?

And if the answer is no, as it should be, then Harold Solomon's objection (among others, I'm sure) remains just as valid: if you do this thing for Vilas you need to do it for everyone else. But his die-hard supporters are basically saying, sorry but life ain't fair and the guy is dying! That's not "justice" or "correcting" the record. It's favoritism towards a beloved player who's garnered more sympathy of late due to his failing health. Like all of you I wish him the best of luck, but not at the expense of his contemporaries who deserve just as much attention and consideration if we're truly serious about the integrity of the game.
 
I keep hearing this but it really doesn't change the equation here at all. Does anyone seriously think these researchers/superfans/fanboys/take-your-pick, assuming the same zeal and resources, wouldn't be able to come up with similar findings for other players, too?

And if the answer is no, as it should be, then Harold Solomon's objection (among others, I'm sure) remains just as valid: if you do this thing for Vilas you need to do it for everyone else. But his die-hard supporters are basically saying, sorry but life ain't fair and the guy is dying! That's not "justice" or "correcting" the record. It's favoritism towards a beloved player who's garnered more sympathy of late due to his failing health. Like all of you I wish him the best of luck, but not at the expense of his contemporaries who deserve just as much attention and consideration if we're truly serious about the integrity of the game.
It's not about how many weeks Vilas gets rather than him being acknowledged as having effectively been #1 at all even if it wasn't recognised at the time. There's no great prize for being recognised as no.2, 3 etc worth striving for, but former world no.1s do get special recognition. It's hardly fair that Rafter gets celebrated for his lone week when he wasn't even playing so never actually entered a tournament wearing the world no.1 mantle, but Vilas doesn't because of the erratic irregularity of rankings at the time.
 

urban

Legend
Jim Thorpe, maybe the greatest athlete of all time, won 2 gold medals at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. He was disqualified and had to give back his medals, because someone denunciated him (i think it was the later fascist Avery Brundage), that he had played some baseball matches for a handful of dollars. In 1983, some 70 years later, he was (retroactively) officially rehabilitated by the IOC and the gold medals were handed to his family. Now, who is rewriting sports history here?
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
It's not about how many weeks Vilas gets rather than him being acknowledged as having effectively been #1 at all even if it wasn't recognised at the time. There's no great prize for being recognised as no.2, 3 etc worth striving for, but former world no.1s do get special recognition. It's hardly fair that Rafter gets celebrated for his lone week when he wasn't even playing so never actually entered a tournament wearing the world no.1 mantle, but Vilas doesn't because of the erratic irregularity of rankings at the time.
I don't see how the ATP can acknowledge Vilas as #1 without fiddling with the weekly (or monthly, historically speaking) rankings. And while I hate to agree with an ATP bigwig on anything Frank Kermode is quite right to be wary of making this one big exception.

As for the comparison vs. Rafter... apples and oranges. There was no confusion about the rules by the late '90s and Pat or any other player who abided by them fully deserved his ranking. In Vilas' heyday, though, everyone was presumably under the impression that he wasn't #1 and acted accordingly. Not quite the same thing. I mean, "everyone" now knows that Becker was the real YE#1 in '89. Do we go back and look for any mistakes there too, because that'd be the "fair" thing to do?

Jim Thorpe, maybe the greatest athlete of all time, won 2 gold medals at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. He was disqualified and had to give back his medals, because someone denunciated him (i think it was the later fascist Avery Brundage), that he had played some baseball matches for a handful of dollars. In 1983, some 70 years later, he was (retroactively) officially rehabilitated by the IOC and the gold medals were handed to his family. Now, who is rewriting sports history here?
You're usually a fair-minded poster but really reaching here. Already in 1912 there was tacit understanding that "amateurs" got paid under the table, so that revocation of Thorpe's Olympic gold medals was questionable even by the standards of his time. OTOH we have no instance of foul play to speak of in Vilas' case. There's really no comparison here. We'd have something of a valid analogy had Thorpe had been denied his medals in the first place due to a recordkeeping error acknowledged after the fact, but even that doesn't do Vilas much favor as I'm not aware of any instance where the IOC changed a result retroactively after whatever time frame to make a formal complaint had passed*.

*Assuming you were referring to the same 2002 Salt Lake Olympics incident, the IOC and the International Skating Union decided to upgrade Jamie Salé and David Pelletier's silver medals to gold after looking into the allegation that the French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne had acted improperly. So yes, there was still cheating involved here, if of the alleged kind and not on the part of the athletes (which, BTW, is part of why they settled on joint gold medals). Again this isn't analogous to Vilas' case.
 

bobcolbert

New User
I keep hearing this but it really doesn't change the equation here at all. Does anyone seriously think these researchers/superfans/fanboys/take-your-pick, assuming the same zeal and resources, wouldn't be able to come up with similar findings for other players, too?

And if the answer is no, as it should be, then Harold Solomon's objection (among others, I'm sure) remains just as valid: if you do this thing for Vilas you need to do it for everyone else. But his die-hard supporters are basically saying, sorry but life ain't fair and the guy is dying! That's not "justice" or "correcting" the record. It's favoritism towards a beloved player who's garnered more sympathy of late due to his failing health. Like all of you I wish him the best of luck, but not at the expense of his contemporaries who deserve just as much attention and consideration if we're truly serious about the integrity of the game.
Solomon's argument is ridiculous. Because the only number one forgotten is Vilas. And if other players want to do the same request to be recognized as number 3, 4, ou 552, they can do it ! Puppo spent more ten years of his life night and day and sacrificed everything else to prove that Vilas was number one. Is there another person in the world who would do that ? And even if this is the case, what is the problem ? The ATP is afraid of having work ... ?
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Solomon's argument is ridiculous. Because the only number one forgotten is Vilas. And if other players want to do the same request to be recognized as number 3, 4, ou 552, they can do it ! Puppo spent more ten years of his life night and day and sacrificed everything else to prove that Vilas was number one. Is there another person in the world who would do that ? And even if this is the case, what is the problem ? The ATP is afraid of having work ... ?
Solomon and Vilas have always had a dispute ... Solomon is jealous, and not objective.
Look, I know I'm wasting my time talking to you about anything Vilas, but a couple things:

- You couldn't possibly know "the only number one forgotten is Vilas," because another contender like Ashe never had an obsessive diehard like Puppo to dig into his own records.
- The ATP's resources are most likely stretched thin right now and yet you think they could accommodate every single request that comes their way? Hope you don't run a business.
- The irony of you dismissing Solomon as "jealous, and not objective" while touting Puppo as this paragon of diligence and self-sacrifice is as comical as it is pathetic.
- Last but not least, plenty of people are dying or suffering real hardships right now. Maybe you may want to spare a thought for them before you resort to emotional blackmail exploiting your darling Willy's condition.
 

urban

Legend
The parallels with the case of Jim Thorpe are grounded in the fact, that only a private initiative and research by diehard fans, author Wheeler and his wife influenced the IOC to change the results of the 1912 Olympic results, to give Thorpe a co-Gold Medal. This happened in 1983, 70 years after the Stockholm games and some 30 years, after Thorpe had died. Previously, all initiatives to reinstate Thorpe had been dismissed and blocked by then IOC president Avery Brundage.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
The parallels with the case of Jim Thorpe are grounded in the fact, that only a private initiative and research by diehard fans, author Wheeler and his wife influenced the IOC to change the results of the 1912 Olympic results, to give Thorpe a co-Gold Medal. This happened in 1983, 70 years after the Stockholm games and some 30 years, after Thorpe had died. Previously, all initiatives to reinstate Thorpe had been dismissed and blocked by then IOC president Avery Brundage.
But that was an effort at restoration, not "correction." The latter usually requires a higher bar to clear and for good reason. It's indeed telling that the one relatively innocent counterexample you cited did involve (alleged) cheating. I'm aware of no comparable foul play in Vilas' case.
 
Look, I know I'm wasting my time talking to you about anything Vilas, but a couple things:

- You couldn't possibly know "the only number one forgotten is Vilas," because another contender like Ashe never had an obsessive diehard like Puppo to dig into his own records.
- The ATP's resources are most likely stretched thin right now and yet you think they could accommodate every single request that comes their way? Hope you don't run a business.
- The irony of you dismissing Solomon as "jealous, and not objective" while touting Puppo as this paragon of diligence and self-sacrifice is as comical as it is pathetic.
- Last but not least, plenty of people are dying or suffering real hardships right now. Maybe you may want to spare a thought for them before you resort to emotional blackmail exploiting your darling Willy's condition.
Ashe is certainly one of the pre-ATP computer era #1s. Not by computer rankings since they ignored WCT mostly. Unfair but this lies outside the scope of ranking correction. True connoisseurs know there's no way Connors was the real #1 in 1975.
 

B-Line

Rookie
I really enjoyed the doc.

I met the great man many years ago. A real humble gent. My first raquet was a wooden slazenger Vilas.
 

Slasher1985

New User
A really interesting discussion here. But let me clear up some facts.

Tennis in 1975 and tennis today are played on a weekly schedule. All rankings systems since 1973 were 52 weeks week-by-week based, as was the schedule. Unless something radical changes in tennis, it is impossible for rankings to become anything else besides weekly (e.g. daily).
Rankings in 1975 were not calculated weekly because of technology constraints, not as an operational decision. Recompleting the missing weeks is within their system's rule as defined in their rulebook, which we have analysed as well when the project started.
Without any change, just issuing rankings for Sep 22, 1975 will show Vilas as number 1, without recalculating anything else. This is a miss by the ATP, as they were supposed to be watching the numbers for possible changes and issue the rankings as per their own rules, any tournament could have changed these numbers.
No change to the original system was performed. We respected the rulebooks to the letter. The calculations have been checked and peer reviewed by 3 other neutral entities.

I hope things are clearer now. I am glad you enjoyed the movie.
 
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bobcolbert

New User
A really interesting discussion here. But let me clear up some facts.

Tennis in 1975 and tennis today are played on a weekly schedule. All rankings systems since 1973 were 52 weeks week-by-week based, as was the schedule. Unless something radical changes in tennis, it is impossible for rankings to become anything else besides weekly (e.g. daily).
Rankings in 1975 were not calculated weekly because of technology constraints, not as an operational decision. Recompleting the missing weeks is within their system's rule as defined in their rulebook, which we have analysed as well when the project started.
Without any change, just issuing rankings for Sep 22, 1975 will show Vilas as number 1, without recalculating anything else. This is a miss by the ATP, as they were supposed to be watching the numbers for possible changes and issue the rankings as per their own rules, any tournament could have changed these numbers.
No change to the original system was performed. We respected the rulebooks to the letter. The calculations have been checked and peer reviewed by 3 other neutral entities.

I hope things are clearer now. I am glad you enjoyed the movie.
Very clear. Especially this : "Rankings in 1975 were not calculated weekly because of technology constraints, not as an operational decision."
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
A really interesting discussion here. But let me clear up some facts.

Tennis in 1975 and tennis today are played on a weekly schedule. All rankings systems since 1973 were 52 weeks week-by-week based, as was the schedule. Unless something radical changes in tennis, it is impossible for rankings to become anything else besides weekly (e.g. daily).
Rankings in 1975 were not calculated weekly because of technology constraints, not as an operational decision. Recompleting the missing weeks is within their system's rule as defined in their rulebook, which we have analysed as well when the project started.
Without any change, just issuing rankings for Sep 22, 1975 will show Vilas as number 1, without recalculating anything else. This is a miss by the ATP, as they were supposed to be watching the numbers for possible changes and issue the rankings as per their own rules, any tournament could have changed these numbers.
No change to the original system was performed. We respected the rulebooks to the letter. The calculations have been checked and peer reviewed by 3 other neutral entities.

I hope things are clearer now. I am glad you enjoyed the movie.
This doesn't "clear up some facts" at all. Even if all of it were true - and your framing does strike me as highly suspect - none of you Vilas supporters have yet to explain away the fact that the men's tour in 1975 operated on the assumption that the contemporary rankings were correct and up to date. How is it fair to award these retroactive rankings to Vilas alone when his peers, some of whom aren't even alive, don't have this army of adherents to defend their own interests?

I'll "clear up" this confusion with an actually valid cross-sport analogy. Some of you might recall the big brouhaha that erupted at the 2004 Summer Olympics after it was discovered that Yang Tae-young, the South Korean bronze medalist in the men's individual all-round gymnastics competition, had received for one of his routines a start value of only 9.9 rather than the correct 10.0, which might well have cost him the gold medal. So the SK delegation protested, followed by a counterprotest from their American counterpart to defend the gold medalist Paul Hamm (who FWIW I do think should've gracefully relinquished his title, at least before that self-serving letter from FIG President Bruno Grandi who called him to do just that).

But both the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the IOC (and later the Court of Arbitration for Sport) held firm, concluding that, under FIG rules, the motion to correct the scoring error should have been filed during the competition and there had been no evidence of foul play. And guess what, Hamm supporters (per Wiki) also pointed out that "Yang's routine included 4 'hangs' instead of the 3 allowed, an error that, if caught, would have resulted in a penalty of .2 points, removing Yang from medal contention."

It's hard to disagree with that reasoning, however "unfair" it may be, or for that matter the US Olympic Committee's that an athlete should not be penalized after the fact for officials' blunder, but that's exactly what you Vilas supporters are calling for. You guys keep pushing this disingenuous narrative that there's no harm in "correcting" this one mistake for Vilas when rankings by definition concern more than one player and there's no such thing as co-#1 in (computerized) tennis. Well you're wrong, and I hope the above example finally explains why.
 

Slasher1985

New User
This doesn't "clear up some facts" at all. Even if all of it were true - and your framing does strike me as highly suspect - none of you Vilas supporters have yet to explain away the fact that the men's tour in 1975 operated on the assumption that the contemporary rankings were correct and up to date. How is it fair to award these retroactive rankings to Vilas alone when his peers, some of whom aren't even alive, don't have this army of adherents to defend their own interests?

I'll "clear up" this confusion with an actually valid cross-sport analogy. Some of you might recall the big brouhaha that erupted at the 2004 Summer Olympics after it was discovered that Yang Tae-young, the South Korean bronze medalist in the men's individual all-round gymnastics competition, had received for one of his routines a start value of only 9.9 rather than the correct 10.0, which might well have cost him the gold medal. So the SK delegation protested, followed by a counterprotest from their American counterpart to defend the gold medalist Paul Hamm (who FWIW I do think should've gracefully relinquished his title, at least before that self-serving letter from FIG President Bruno Grandi who called him to do just that).

But both the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the IOC (and later the Court of Arbitration for Sport) held firm, concluding that, under FIG rules, the motion to correct the scoring error should have been filed during the competition and there had been no evidence of foul play. And guess what, Hamm supporters (per Wiki) also pointed out that "Yang's routine included 4 'hangs' instead of the 3 allowed, an error that, if caught, would have resulted in a penalty of .2 points, removing Yang from medal contention."

It's hard to disagree with that reasoning, however "unfair" it may be, or for that matter the US Olympic Committee's that an athlete should not be penalized after the fact for officials' blunder, but that's exactly what you Vilas supporters are calling for. You guys keep pushing this disingenuous narrative that there's no harm in "correcting" this one mistake for Vilas when rankings by definition concern more than one player and there's no such thing as co-#1 in (computerized) tennis. Well you're wrong, and I hope the above example finally explains why.
Hey there, nice to see that you're not giving up. I like that. In fact, our study covers all the players and all their position movements relative to each week by week change. The Netflix doco focuses on Vilas as the vital and most significant change, as in the only change to #1 we have detected. The other shifts are minor and there are very small changes in terms of career highs. It's only because of the extremely small point margin difference in 1975 that this happened at all. It's an omission, the ranking commission was suppose to watch for major ranking changes and request access to the computer upon detection. They have failed to detect it, the rules did allow weekly ranking calculations, as was evident in 1977 when Borg and Connors traded the top spot within one single week. I will let the others talk about that IOC precedent.

And no, I am not a Vilas supporter or megafan myself, although I do admire him very much for his fight and tenacity. I am Marian Ciulpan, the mathematician/software engineer who worked on the numbers, and although I do not have clearance to share too many details, as the study is involved in trial proceedings, please ask if there is anything more I can help with to bring more clarification.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Hey there, nice to see that you're not giving up. I like that. In fact, our study covers all the players and all their position movements relative to each week by week change. The Netflix doco focuses on Vilas as the vital and most significant change, as in the only change to #1 we have detected. The other shifts are minor and there are very small changes in terms of career highs. It's only because of the extremely small point margin difference in 1975 that this happened at all. It's an omission, the ranking commission was suppose to watch for major ranking changes and request access to the computer upon detection. They have failed to detect it, the rules did allow weekly ranking calculations, as was evident in 1977 when Borg and Connors traded the top spot within one single week. I will let the others talk about that IOC precedent.

And no, I am not a Vilas supporter or megafan myself, although I do admire him very much for his fight and tenacity. I am Marian Ciulpan, the mathematician/software engineer who worked on the numbers, and although I do not have clearance to share too many details, as the study is involved in trial proceedings, please ask if there is anything more I can help with to bring more clarification.
I'm really not interested in whether Vilas would've been #1 if the rankings in 1975 had been calculated weekly, because that's completely secondary to whether he should be awarded those rankings retroactively (which, in case you haven't noticed, is the real point of contention here). And so far you and other Vilas supporters (or whatever term you want to use) haven't offered a single compelling or valid reason in favor of yes on the latter question.
 

Slasher1985

New User
I'm really not interested in whether Vilas would've been #1 if the rankings in 1975 had been calculated weekly, because that's completely secondary to whether he should be awarded those rankings retroactively (which, in case you haven't noticed, is the real point of contention here). And so far you and other Vilas supporters (or whatever term you want to use) haven't offered a single compelling or valid reason in favor of yes on the latter question.
I can only cast an opinion related to this problem, I won't say that precedents have anything to do with this problem. I am not a fan of using Goolagong as a precedent, since that case was of a different nature. Again, I am not a Vilas fan, this project covers more than 1973-78 and goes beyond Vilas.

I believe that Vilas has obtained #1 on court. The weeks in question were covered by tennis, he was playing, the fact that he became number 1 during those weeks is just something that was not noticed, unlike when Borg became number 1 in August 1977. What if ATP would not have been vigilant back then either? Connors' record would have now stood at 245 consecutive weeks (still the best in the Open Era), and not 160. You can see how the ATP improves their system between 1973 and 1984. The frequency of the rankings is a matter of attention to the numbers. Since they did not own a supercomputer themselves, access to the one they were renting from IBM was expensive and it took a while to do the numbers even on that. But that computer actually got upgraded in time as well. On a 5 year span, it became faster, ATP's operators became more attentive, data became more reliable and so on.

I have a list of no less than 150 human errors made between 1973 and 1977. Between 1977 and 1981, that reduces to 56. These errors are in the study, they cannot be shared (I am sorry here), they range from wrong bonus points, wrong tournament points, duplication of points, late entry to tournament points, and even wrong tournament categories that were corrected afterwards. You see, there are different errors besides a wrong number. In the 70s, without any automation, people may miss some change right in front of their eyes.

Is it fair to blame anyone now for something happened 45 years ago? No.
Is it fair to point out the truth now after 45 years? Yes.
Is it fair to award Vilas number 1 now after 45 years? He earned it on court, and that event was missed, so I believe it is just (my opinion here).

The rest I hope you realize, and I hope you're not angry (I see your posting style as angry) that Connors' record is threatened. The nature of this error is not something that can create a precedent in the future. Today, data and calculations are extremely reliable. I could calculate a whole year worth of rankings in less than 5 minutes, and it would be correct. I occasionally still interact with the ATP when they do a micro mistake. Just last year, I noticed RBA having the wrong total of points for the ATP Cup, and I helped the ATP see it and correct it as well.

Do you understand now?
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I can only cast an opinion related to this problem, I won't say that precedents have anything to do with this problem. I am not a fan of using Goolagong as a precedent, since that case was of a different nature. Again, I am not a Vilas fan, this project covers more than 1973-78 and goes beyond Vilas.

I believe that Vilas has obtained #1 on court. The weeks in question were covered by tennis, he was playing, the fact that he became number 1 during those weeks is just something that was not noticed, unlike when Borg became number 1 in August 1977. What if ATP would not have been vigilant back then either? Connors' record would have now stood at 245 consecutive weeks (still the best in the Open Era), and not 160. You can see how the ATP improves their system between 1973 and 1984. The frequency of the rankings is a matter of attention to the numbers. Since they did not own a supercomputer themselves, access to the one they were renting from IBM was expensive and it took a while to do the numbers even on that. But that computer actually got upgraded in time as well. On a 5 year span, it became faster, ATP's operators became more attentive, data became more reliable and so on.

I have a list of no less than 150 human errors made between 1973 and 1977. Between 1977 and 1981, that reduces to 56. These errors are in the study, they cannot be shared (I am sorry here), they range from wrong bonus points, wrong tournament points, duplication of points, late entry to tournament points, and even wrong tournament categories that were corrected afterwards. You see, there are different errors besides a wrong number. In the 70s, without any automation, people may miss some change right in front of their eyes.

Is it fair to blame anyone now for something happened 45 years ago? No.
Is it fair to point out the truth now after 45 years? Yes.
Is it fair to award Vilas number 1 now after 45 years? He earned it on court, and that event was missed, so I believe it is just (my opinion here).

The rest I hope you realize, and I hope you're not angry (I see your posting style as angry) that Connors' record is threatened. The nature of this error is not something that can create a precedent in the future. Today, data and calculations are extremely reliable. I could calculate a whole year worth of rankings in less than 5 minutes, and it would be correct. I occasionally still interact with the ATP when they do a micro mistake. Just last year, I noticed RBA having the wrong total of points for the ATP Cup, and I helped the ATP see it and correct it as well.

Do you understand now?
Before I get to the red meat, you really should stop passing yourself off as this disinterested observer when you're clearly not. Nobody without any personal investment in Vilas would've spent all that time and effort to begin with, which is fine as long as you don't claim this objectivity for yourself. (Speaking of which you seem quite mistaken about my own fandom. I'm well known as a Sampras supporter around here, and of Becker and Djokovic if to a lesser extent. And yes, I freely admit it.)

Second, you still don't understand what I was trying to say. I don't question your finding that Vilas would've been #1 with weekly rankings, and I could even accept that he was "robbed" of his top ranking. What I really object to are these two claims:

1) It is the ATP's fault (because of "technology constraints," plain carelessness or what have you) that its rankings weren't published weekly before 1979.
2) Vilas deserves to be awarded those #1 rankings retroactively.

1) is simply a tendentious reading of the situation. Even now there are many of us who discount weekly rankings for the most part - to me it hardly matters a whit how many weeks a player spent as #1 if he/she fails to finish the year at the top - and this insistence on their supposedly sacrosanct nature betrays an inherent bias in favor of select players (Vilas in this case), especially considering how the ATP didn't become more or less fully standardized until 1991.

2) has as much to do with ethics as with personal preference, and thus should not be made lightly. Again the fact of the matter remains that those non-weekly rankings were regarded as standard at the time and players adjusted their plans accordingly. It's significant that all the real-life cases cited so far hinged on the element of foul play or deliberate wrongdoing, without which the governing body in question refused to make "corrections" after the fact. We're talking all sports, not just tennis, and unless you think the ATP's "error" rises to that level I say it's irresponsible to keep pushing for this change on Vilas' behalf. This is favoritism plain and simple, now matter how good the intentions are, and while Gauenzi may be more favorably disposed than Chris Kermode he should still reject this call for post hoc fiddling with history.

One thing I'll add is that it's good to hear the ATP has been incorporating fans' feedback and research into its messy database, but that still leaves the match outcomes intact and is thus not relevant here.
 

RiverRat

Professional
The case to make Vilas #1 is overwhelming. An organization has a responsibility to follow it's own guidelines and the ATP only followed them haphazzardly. They sometimes made weekly calculations and other times didn't, to the detriment of Vilas. They had a responsibility to monitor this process and they did not. Beyond their own systemic failures, which they have an interest in concealing, they have also ignored their ethical obligation to provide a fair playing field. Organizations have had criminal liability resulting from control failures, whether corporate or sporting.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Vilas v Atptour, Inc..

Based upon the prior thread:


and the present one in which absolutely no new arguments or evidence were presented.

LOL, I remember that funny farm of a thread. When I cared enough to look the pile of fanboy nonsense had gotten so big and ridiculous I just didn't bother. At least the voice of reason made an early appearance here.

The case to make Vilas #1 is overwhelming. An organization has a responsibility to follow it's own guidelines and the ATP only followed them haphazzardly. They sometimes made weekly calculations and other times didn't, to the detriment of Vilas. They had a responsibility to monitor this process and they did not. Beyond their own systemic failures, which they have an interest in concealing, they have also ignored their ethical obligation to provide a fair playing field. Organizations have had criminal liability resulting from control failures, whether corporate or sporting.
That rankings were haphazard at the time actually weakens your case further. And co-opting the other side's terminology without understanding its rationale in the slightest certainly does not make your case stronger.
 
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