Peak Women's DOT Ratings of the Open Era

Wuornos

Professional
These ratings and statistics are correct as of the end of the US open 2007.

For the methodolgy of how these ratings are calculated please see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=165420.


1. Margaret Smith Court Peak Rating 2880 Achieved after Australian Open of 1971.

Open Era Major Record, 11 Titles, 1 Losing Final, 4 Losing Semi Finals and 4 Losing Quarter Finals.

Massively dominant during this period having clocked eight major titles out of the last nine events! Billie Jean King was her main competitor at this time with a rating of 2711, while she also had to contend with no fewer than 11 other players at that time who were playing in excess of 2600 points. Hence an overall DOT rating making her the best woman player of the open era.


2. Steffi Graf Peak Rating 2880 Achieved after Australian Open of 1990.

Open Era Major Record, 22 Titles, 9 Losing Finals, 6 Losing Semi Finals and 5 Losing Quarter Finals.

While Steffi has the same rating rounded to the nearest whole number as Margaret Court she is in fact 0.1 point lower hence the number 2 position. Again we see 8 titles from the last nine events but the dominance of Graf was slightly better as she made the final of the event she failed to win during this period while Court only made the semi final. Like Margaret Court, Graf also faced a competitor at this time who was still playing tennis in excess of the 2700 point mark in the form of Martina Navratilova at 2747, however, Graf’s overall competition fell short of that faced by Margaret Court in that only 6 other players in the world could claim ratings in excess of 2600 as opposed to the 11 faced by Margaret Court. Hence Graf’s slightly greater dominance is neutralised by Court’s quality of opposition.


3. Martina Navratilova Peak Rating 2878 Achieved after the US Open of 1986.

Open Era Major Record, 18 Titles, 14 Losing Finals, 12 Losing Semi Finals and 9 Losing Quarter Finals.

Despite popular opinion was not quite as dominant at the majors as either Steffi of Margaret. No eight from nine for Martina. Six on the trot at one point but her best quality of tennis was as stated above. With both Chris Evert and Hana Mandlíková playing at 2811 and 2706 respectively many pundits regard this as possibly the strongest era of women’s tennis. However, other than these three players only 4 others were in excess of 2600., so to some extent the outstanding level within the top 3 players was negated by a lack of strength in depth. Even allowing for this though and Martina’s slightly lower dominance compared with either Margaret or Steffi Graf, her achievements against two players playing the quality of tennis we saw from Chris Evert and Hana Mandlíková is sufficient to put her within a tiny margin of the top of these ratings and clear of all other players seen during the open era.


4. Monica Seles. Peak Rating 2837. Achieved after the Australian Open of 1993.

Open Era Major Record, 9 Titles, 4 Losing Finals, 5 Losing Semi Finals and 13 Losing Quarter Finals.

This I have no doubt will be a controversial result for two reasons. First there will be those that will feel Chris Evert is deserving of the fourth place, second there will be those that feel that Monica proved herself superior to Steffi. On the first of these points Monica Seles was far more dominant than Chris Evert. Yes Chris had a long career and achieved much, but her level of dominance was not as pronounced as Monica’s achievements and this alone is enough to put Monica above Chris. On the second point when Monica was dominating, Steffi was not playing her best tennis. In fact she had dipped below 2800. Now some may say this is because of Monica’s presence and that she took the dominance away from Steffi, but that is missing the point that the ratings are opposition adjusted. They have been checked and there are as many cases of players increasing their performance (rating) in the face of opposition as reducing. E.g. Chris Everts best ratings were only after the emergence of Navratilova and therefore the idea that Steffi’s rating reduced because of Monica is refuted. Monica therefore achieved lower dominance overall and defeated a reduced performance Steffi. Hence the ratings are consistent in the face of both of these objections.

At Monica’s peak she faced one player who was playing in excess of 2700points in the form of Steffi Graf and 5 other players who were in excess of 2600.

Finally an interesting if meaningless statistic, is that Monica is the joint holder of the record for most quarter finals lost at majors with 13.


5. Chris Evert. Peak Rating 2823. Achieved after the French Open of 1986.

Open Era Major Record, 18 Titles, 16 Losing Finals, 18 Losing Semi Finals and 2 Losing Quarter Finals.

Following on to the interesting but meaningless statistic of the Monica Seles review, did you know that Chris Evert is the undisputed queen of major quarter finals, having an overall record of 52-2.

Chris has already been discussed above she had along career at the top of the game but the two year period leading up to the French Open of 1986 was her finest hour. To be honest her basic level of dominance was no better than it had been many times in her career. The difference here was the level of opposition faced. Here she was continuing to perform well in majors despite Martina playing at 2861 and Hana Mandlíková at 2710, Steffi Graf was just coming on the scene and was playing at a 2593 level at 9th place in the rankings. The average rating of the top 10 players at this time was 2666. To hold your own and clock 3 major titles out of the last 6 events in the face of this type of onslaught is exceptional.


6. Serena Williams. Peak Rating 2797. Achieved after Wimbledon in 2003.

Open Era Major Record, 8 Titles, 2 Losing Finals, 2 Losing Semi Finals and 9 Losing Quarter Finals.

I doubt there will be to many who disagree that Serena is worthy of a top 10 place in the women players of the open era. Some might object but I believe this is as a result of her apparent unpopularity rather than a reasoned objection. Serena had just taken her 5th Major in the last 6 events. This was more dominant than Chris Evert ever was. However, this was achieved against her sister who was currently playing at 2744 and 6 other players who were playing at a standard in excess of 2600. She never had to face the same quality of opposition as Chris Evert and the ultimate conclusion of this is that Chris Evert’s achievement of 3 titles from 6 events against Martina and Hana is evidentially superior to Serena’s 5 from 6 against her sister.


7. Billie Jean King. Peak Rating 2781. Achieved after the US Open of 1972.

Open Era Major Record, 8 Titles, 4 Losing Finals, 5 Losing Semi Finals and 11 Losing Quarter Finals.

Billie had just defended her US title and in between had added both the French and Wimbledon to her tally. In compiling this peak DOT rating Billie had to face both Margaret Smith Court and Evonne Goolagong who were playing tennis at a level of 2738 and 2737 respectively. In addition there were 6 other players who were playing to standard in excess of 2600.


8. Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Peak Rating 2769. Achieved after Wimbledon in 1995.

Open Era Major Record, 4 Titles, 8 Losing Finals, 10 Losing Semi Finals and 13 Losing Quarter Finals.

This will be a controversial result and I can do little other than state the facts as highlighted by the DOT ratings. Arantxa had just played her sixth major final in seven events. Admittedly she only converted two of them into titles but achieving that volume of finals against even a past best Graf and 6 other players in excess of 2600 was outstanding. It was an almost Evertesque example of consistency. In many respects I think of Arantxa in the same terms as Hana Mandlíková, i.e a player who’s major count is vastly underrepresented due to the quality of opposition faced.


9. Martina Hingis Peak Rating 2762. Achieved after the French Open 1999.

Open Era Major Record, 5 Titles, 7 Losing Finals, 7 Losing Semi Finals and 5 Losing Quarter Finals.

It may surprise some that the peak wasn’t a year earlier after the Australian in 1998. To be honest there isn’t much to pick between them. 2755 as opposed to 2762. The later rating is higher because of the increased performance from both Graf and Davenport compared with a year earlier. Therefore decreased domination but increased competition and three consecutive finals and 1 major title against that level of competition was enough to get the edge over her more dominant period..


10. Evonne Goolagong Peak Rating 2752. Achieved after Australian Open of 1974.

Open Era Major Record, 7 Titles, 11 Losing Finals, 4 Losing Semi Finals and 4 Losing Quarter Finals.

Evonne Goolagong wasn’t massively dominant but she had a good career and above all she was consistent in making the final stages of majors. She had in fact made 9 major finals from the previous 13 events. She achieved this against Margaret Smith Court and Billie Jean King when they were playing 2762 and 2748 respectively. In some respects seeing that she made so many finals but lost more than she won it would imply that normally she would finish ahead of one of the above two and behind the other. Given her rating is calculated as 2752, between the above two players ratings, this is further evidence of the adjustment of domination for opposition working effectively.


The current along with peak ratings of the current women players can be found under.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=165422

Take care and let me know what you think of this system as a means of comparing players from different periods.

Regards

Tim
 
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protourOS

New User
Intriguing analysis Tim - you do come up with some great statistical information on tennis history!
Of course this DOT rating system as with other methods of competitive historical analysis, has its limitations -In this case the valuation of the relative strength and weakness of opponents in different eras, as well as the depth of the field.
At the same time these are important additional factors that are considered in this calculation, and I quite like the way the list order and reasoning behind it has turned out.

The order makes some sense to me...

Nice work!
 

Wuornos

Professional
Thanks both. I appreciate your kind words.

Hopefully I should get the mens' finished tomorrow in which case I shall post them.

Regards

Tim
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
pretty interesting...and like you said I am very surprised that Seles comes out above Evert, even if it is only by a miniscule number of points, I still think Evert should be above her, other than that it looks. although you say Martina was not as dominant as court...and yet she only comes in 2 poiints under her...not a huge difference if you ask me
 

Wuornos

Professional
pretty interesting...and like you said I am very surprised that Seles comes out above Evert, even if it is only by a miniscule number of points, I still think Evert should be above her, other than that it looks. although you say Martina was not as dominant as court...and yet she only comes in 2 poiints under her...not a huge difference if you ask me

Yes that's right, Martina was not quite as dominant as Court but faced tougher opposition so the diffrence between them is tiny in the final analysis.

Thanks for your interest.

Regards

Tim
 
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