Times the wrong person ended the year ranked #1 in your opinion

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
The recent debates that often came up of Borg vs Connors vs Vilas for 77, and Evert vs Navratilova for 78, had me think of this. Which years in your opinion did the player who was not the most deserving not end the year officialy ranked #1.

1977 men- This one is pretty clear. Connors ended #1. Most agree Borg or Vilas should have ended this year ranked #1. Personally I would say Borg.

1982 men- McEnroe somehow ended his year ranked #1. Clearly should have been Connors.

1989 men- Lendl ended the year ranked #1. Should have been Becker.

1994 women- Graf ended the year ranked #1. Should have been Sanchez Vicario who had far superior slam results to Graf this year.

1995 women- Only ridiculous as Seles who played only 2 tournaments all year somehow ended up as the co-ranked #1 with Graf due to her stupid comeback rules, LOL!

2000 women- Hingis ended the year ranked #1. Definitely should have been either Davenport or Venus. Hingis did not win a slam this year, and also reached only 1 slam final, and her overall tournament results weren't significantly ahead of Davenport imparticular.

2001 women- This one is one of the biggest jokes of all time. Davenport who did even reach a slam final somehow ended the year at #1 over both Venus and Capriati, who each won 2 majors. Venus also won 6 tournaments, I believe the same number as Davenport won.

2004 women- Davenport who didn't even reach a slam final again ends the year at #1. Granted there isn't a clear person who deserves it this year, but it should never be a player who doesn't even reach a slam final.

There are probably some others but those are the ones that instantly come to mind.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
You are a good poster but seles stabbing was more than just 'stupid' and she got no justice from the german courts. So i discount that one on your list

It is stupid she would be given shared credit for a year end #1 ranking in a year she played 2 tournaments. 99% of people would agree with me on that, and I won't bother with any trolls who say otherwise.
 
It is stupid she would be given shared credit for a year end #1 ranking in a year she played 2 tournaments. 99% of people would agree with me on that, and I won't bother with any trolls who say otherwise.
Fine you are a good poster who calls me a troll. The poster who liked my first reply is clearly the other troll making 1 %

Why isn't someones mental wellbeing and ability to play her sport in a big country like germany more important than your perception of rankings?
You also miss another point.. graf didnt lose her no1 ranking and it wss more a symbolic thing.

On a separate note more times in the womens game do the players reach no1 without a slam. I do think rios wozniacki and safina deserved their top status. Jankovic is more dubious but still there is a case.

P.s. i'll look for any other knee jerk reactions you have to dissenters
Is it because you havent interacted before with myself? Or a general posting style. You could easily have not made this emotive towards myself. Agreeing to disagree is my style.. at least online.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
1964 Rosewall was #1 on points, but Laver won the two biggest tournaments of the year.
1973 Nastase ranked #1 on matches won, but that was a minor circuit, Newcombe won at the two biggest events, U.S. Open and Davis Cup
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Wozniacki not reaching any grand slam finals, and on top of that also not winning the YEC, in either 2010 and 2011, and finishing both seasons as the year end no. 1, certainly stood out.

I’d say that Ashe was the best in 1975, as his 2nd biggest title at Dallas was bigger than anything that Connors won that year. I think that all the major tennis writers / magazines named Ashe as the player of the year, with the exception of Rino Tomassi who went for Connors.

Clearly there is no case to argue that Mac was even one of the top 2 players in 1982, as Connors was the undisputed no. 1 and Lendl was the undisputed no. 2. Mac’s 1982 was clearly weaker than Connors’ 1977 for example. At least he did end the 1982 season with a flurry of indoor titles (winning 44 consecutive sets in sanctioned tournament play before he ran into Lendl in the Masters final), and had his best Davis Cup campaign statistically (with no singles or doubles defeats) that year with the Davis Cup huge and as important as a major (definitely no less important than Roland Garros) at the time.
 
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Gizo

Hall of Fame
2004 was a crazy year on the women's side. It's difficult to pin-point any one player as the best.

Davenport also didn't reach the final at the YEC, getting eliminated in the group stage by Myskina. It an era when the grand slams had become increasingly more important relative to other events, and the prize money in the YEC was on the up, it's difficult to say that a player that didn't reach the final at any of the 5 biggest annual tournaments (she didn't play in the Olympics instead going on a tear in the US summer hard court events) was the best. Clearly she was hugely unlucky to get injured at and not win the US Open, but that's unfortunately part and parcel of the sport.

Henin and Sharapova both won 2 out of the 6 biggest events each, with Henin also winning Indian Wells. But of course Henin struggled with a virus for much of the year and only played in 39 matches. And Sharapova, while her year was stunningly successful especially given her young age, probably wasn't strong enough at the non-Wimbledon majors to be considered as the best, and 3 out of her 5 titles came at Tier 3 / 4 events. Myskina won titles on 3 different surfaces that year (outdoor hard - Doha, clay - RG and indoor carpet - Moscow straight setting Davenport and Dementieva back to back), but again it's difficult to say that a player that 'only' won 3 titles (plus she lost early at both Wimbledon and the US Open) was the best. She did also lead Russia to Fed Cup glory though, winning 7 out of her 8 singles matches (with the defeat coming in the 1st round) and teaming up with Zvonareva to win the decisive doubles rubber in the final, plus she was a semi-finalist (though losing Henin in heart-breaking circumstances) at the Olympics. Kuznetsova's record at the first 3 majors of the year wasn't strong enough for her to be considered as the best, plus her overall title collection was weaker than Myskina's (also winning 3 titles but at Tier 2 and 3 events alongside her slam, while Myskina's were at Tier 1 and 2 events alongside her slam).

It felt like a year of 'spurned opportunities' for my favourite player at the time Mauresmo.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
In 1998, while I might not go as far as to say that it was wrong that Sampras ended 1998 at no. 1, I've always struggled to regard him as the best that year. To me his overall record, and level of play during the year, wasn't quite good enough. Probably his best tennis of the year was at Vienna during the fall (especially his QF demolition of Henman), which he only entered after Becker donated his wildcard to him. I personally consider him to be the best from 1993-1997, but can't include 1998.

If we use 1973 when the ATP computer rankings were introduced as a starting point, and say that Ashe was no. 1 in 1975, either Vilas or Borg was no. 1 in 1977 and Connors was no. 1 in 1982 - it doesn't matter whether we classify Borg or Connors as the best in 1978 (though for me it was definitely Borg), or Becker or Lendl as the best in 1989 (though for me it was definitely Becker) - then Sampras's 1998 looks weak in comparison to every other season put together by any other 'player of the year'.

I believe that the only seasons from 1973 in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year didn't win at least 5 titles, were Sampras in 1998, Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018, Nadal in 2019, and Djokovic in 2020, who all won 4 titles in those respective years. Of course Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018 and Nadal in 2019 all won 2 majors plus 2 masters series titles (and Federer in 2009 and Nadal in 2019 had incredibly consistent records at the majors), while 2020 was COVID interrupted but Djokovic's title distribution and body or work were still clearly better that year than Sampras's in 1998.

And I believe that the only seasons from 1973 onwards in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year had a sub-80% win rate, were Sampras in 1998 (78%), Kuerten in 2000 (74%) and Roddick in 2003 (79%) - Courier's W/L record in 1992 rounds up from 79.5% to 80% and so just makes it there. Kuerten's record at the other 3 majors away from Paris in 2000 was definitely weak for a year end no. 1, but at least he won the YEC in impressive fashion, won Hamburg on the back of reaching the final at Rome, won Indianapolis which was a pretty strong and highly regarded tournament etc.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
While I do think its important to be able to say you dominated your sport at the very top for a reasonable length of time, because the tennis world treats its ultimate champions very differently than anyone else. And yes, its important to your legacy,how you handle that pressure and the change after you decline to #2, and #3 etc., Its never fascinated me all that much, this arbitrary annual 'reset' button the sport imposes at the end of the year and all that hype about who ends up ranked 1 and 2, or 3 or 4, or 9 or 10. The ranking does not mean you win one more tournament, or one more match or one more point than the one directly before or after you. that happen to coincide with date of the 'reset button'. It may reflect that already measured and documented metric but it does not add anything concrete that I care about, so all these intense discussions seem overblown. I don't sweat it much whether you were ranked #1 in the first 6 months, or the last six months that happen to coincide with date of the 'reset button'. I also do not see that that arbitrary line we refer to as the 'top ten' as monumentally more important than being ranked #11 if you stay at #11 longer than some player who reached the top ten for two months and dropped away.
 

thrust

Legend
It is stupid she would be given shared credit for a year end #1 ranking in a year she played 2 tournaments. 99% of people would agree with me on that, and I won't bother with any trolls who say otherwise.
Slams, especially back then, were not everything. If all the other non-slam tournaments mean nothing or little to players, why have them? The ranking rules apply to everyone, not people like you or anyone else here.
 
In 1998, while I might not go as far as to say that it was wrong that Sampras ended 1998 at no. 1, I've always struggled to regard him as the best that year. To me his overall record, and level of play during the year, wasn't quite good enough. Probably his best tennis of the year was at Vienna during the fall (especially his QF demolition of Henman), which he only entered after Becker donated his wildcard to him. I personally consider him to be the best from 1993-1997, but can't include 1998.

If we use 1973 when the ATP computer rankings were introduced as a starting point, and say that Ashe was no. 1 in 1975, either Vilas or Borg was no. 1 in 1977 and Connors was no. 1 in 1982 - it doesn't matter whether we classify Borg or Connors as the best in 1978 (though for me it was definitely Borg), or Becker or Lendl as the best in 1989 (though for me it was definitely Becker) - then Sampras's 1998 looks weak in comparison to every other season put together by any other 'player of the year'.

I believe that the only seasons from 1973 in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year didn't win at least 5 titles, were Sampras in 1998, Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018, Nadal in 2019, and Djokovic in 2020, who all won 4 titles in those respective years. Of course Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018 and Nadal in 2019 all won 2 majors plus 2 masters series titles (and Federer in 2009 and Nadal in 2019 had incredibly consistent records at the majors), while 2020 was COVID interrupted but Djokovic's title distribution and body or work were still clearly better that year than Sampras's in 1998.

And I believe that the only seasons from 1973 onwards in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year had a sub-80% win rate, were Sampras in 1998 (78%), Kuerten in 2000 (74%) and Roddick in 2003 (79%) - Courier's W/L record in 1992 rounds up from 79.5% to 80% and so just makes it there. Kuerten's record at the other 3 majors away from Paris in 2000 was definitely weak for a year end no. 1, but at least he won the YEC in impressive fashion, won Hamburg on the back of reaching the final at Rome, won Indianapolis which was a pretty strong and highly regarded tournament etc.
Yes sampras was a bit fortunate rios was so hopeless indoors and that rafter was both injured for a stretch as well as somewhat less imposing indoors.
 

urban

Legend
If i recall it right, then Rios also could have well ended Nr. 1 in 1998, if the ATP had counted the important ITF Grand Slam Cup at Munich, which he won over Agassi.
 
If i recall it right, then Rios also could have well ended Nr. 1 in 1998, if the ATP had counted the important ITF Grand Slam Cup at Munich, which he won over Agassi.
Yes that is very political. But rios generally couldnt play well on all surfaces although lets face it sampras was increasingly tame on clay post 1997
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Davenport had some of the worst luck in the world to not reach a major final in 2004. Had it not rained at Wimbledon she would have thrashed Sharapova in the SF. Then after winning every tournament she played in the Summer of 2004 and winning the US Open series she suffers an injury in the USO SF and loses to Kuznetsova. And to be fair...she won the most titles of anyone that year (7) and the most matches of anyone that year (63).

Add in the fact that none of the major winners did much of anything the rest of the year
Henin- Won AO, then contracted some immunovirus that laid her up and affected her most of the rest of the year

Myskina- won the French then only won 1 other title the entire year in October, bombed out in week 1 of Wimbledon and the US Open

Sharapova- possibly the best alternative in the "who should be number 1 argument". Won Wimbledon, although arguably got lucky Augiyama ran out of gas in the QF and she had the weather help her in the SF. Won titles in the fall including the Tour Finals. However she struggled most of that year before the grass season, lost 3r of both hardcourt majors....consistency is key in the ranking.

Kuznetsova- Won US Open, didn't make it past the 4r of any other major (first round exit at Wimbledon) and won 2 smaller titles throughout the year.

While their may not be a clear outright #1....Other than Davenport the only other option I could argue for is possibly Sharapova...and I honestly think she got insanely lucky to even win Wimbledon that year to begin with. IN a perfect world Davenport should have made the Wimbledon final and the US Open final should have been Serena vs Lindsay part 2.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Wozniacki not reaching any grand slam finals, and on top of that also not winning the YEC, in either 2010 and 2011, and finishing both seasons as the year end no. 1, certainly stood out.
Wozniacki in 2010 likely wouldnt have ended 2010 at number 1 if Clijsters wasn't part timing it. Clijsters losing in the 3rd round of the AO and missing the French in the end were the ultimate nail in the coffin adding in the fact that After Wimbledon Woz won almost every single tournament Kim didn't it seems like. Not Woz's fault Kim was playing part time as a mother.

2011...Kim again Part time. Li Na started out strong Aussie Finalist, RG champ then loses 2R Wimbledon and 1R US Open and Zero finals post French Open. Kvitova is the only other option to me, but her major results outside Wimbledon were horrible.
 
Davenport had some of the worst luck in the world to not reach a major final in 2004. Had it not rained at Wimbledon she would have thrashed Sharapova in the SF. Then after winning every tournament she played in the Summer of 2004 and winning the US Open series she suffers an injury in the USO SF and loses to Kuznetsova. And to be fair...she won the most titles of anyone that year (7) and the most matches of anyone that year (63).

Add in the fact that none of the major winners did much of anything the rest of the year
Henin- Won AO, then contracted some immunovirus that laid her up and affected her most of the rest of the year

Myskina- won the French then only won 1 other title the entire year in October, bombed out in week 1 of Wimbledon and the US Open

Sharapova- possibly the best alternative in the "who should be number 1 argument". Won Wimbledon, although arguably got lucky Augiyama ran out of gas in the QF and she had the weather help her in the SF. Won titles in the fall including the Tour Finals. However she struggled most of that year before the grass season, lost 3r of both hardcourt majors....consistency is key in the ranking.

Kuznetsova- Won US Open, didn't make it past the 4r of any other major (first round exit at Wimbledon) and won 2 smaller titles throughout the year.

While their may not be a clear outright #1....Other than Davenport the only other option I could argue for is possibly Sharapova...and I honestly think she got insanely lucky to even win Wimbledon that year to begin with. IN a perfect world Davenport should have made the Wimbledon final and the US Open final should have been Serena vs Lindsay part 2.
Henin did win olympic gold. Yes its not about ranking points but it was gradually becoming a bigger deal over time. And federer was distraught over losing to the young upstart Berdych.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Henin did win olympic gold. Yes its not about ranking points but it was gradually becoming a bigger deal over time. And federer was distraught over losing to the young upstart Berdych.

True, but outside of that her fitness and consistency were up and down after being sick. I think she only played 40 matches the entire year which for her is a very low number. She even struggled in 2005 only really seeming to bounce back in 2006 when she began dominating. She really invested a lot in the Olympics though, although honestly she squeaked by that SF against Myskina.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Ríos would have regained the world no. 1 ranking from Sampras in 1998, if he had won his home event in Santiago in November, but he lost to the world no. 88 Juan Antonio Marín (mostly known in tennis circles for his 0-17 career record in grand slam main draw matches), in the quarter-finals. Ríos regularly choked against much lower ranked players in Chile (many of whom he won all his other matches against), never winning the title there and crumbling under the pressure and expectations that he faced on home soil (plus when back there he liked to party at night as well).

Even when Sampras won his Wimbledon title, clearly he got the job done and deserved his glory there (matching Borg's feat of 5 titles there was a big deal), but it seemed clear to me that his level there was noticeably lower than it had been during his previous title winning campaigns.

Rafter had the best title distribution in 1998, winning 6 in total including the Toronto-Cincinnati-US Open treble. He had injury troubles but still actually played more matches than Sampras that year, though with 1 fewer victory and 4 more defeats. If I was pushed to name someone as the player of the year in 1998, I'd go for Rafter over Sampras (helped by him winning both of their matches in the Cincy final and US Open semi-final), but it's definitely not clear cut.

Regarding 2004 on the women's side, if someone held a gun to my head and ask me to choose a player of the year, I'd probably go for Sharapova. The fact that her 2nd biggest title was a bigger deal than anything than Davenport won all year, stands out. She also at least had another 'significant' grand slam run at RG where she reached the quarter-finals. And she did beat both Davenport and Serena back to back to win her major which was huge (the rain delay changing the momentum of her SF is just the way things go). If she had won that Zurich final against Molik (the first defeat of her career in a tournament final), after beating Hantuchova, Venus and Dementieva en-route, and still gone on to win the YEC, then her player of the year credentials would have been noticeably stronger, and I would probably say it was her with less hesitation.

No final appearances at the 5 biggest tournaments that she played in is too much a barrier for Davenport to overcome IMO. Despite hardly playing, Henin probably still had the best title distribution of anyone. Her third biggest title at Indian Wells, where she destroyed Davenport in the final (one of the very best performances of her career IMO), was probably still bigger than anything that Davenport won all year (it had a bigger draw size and greater prize money than the Tier 1 events that Davenport won though San Diego did have a very strong draw).
 
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Gizo

Hall of Fame
Wozniacki in 2010 likely wouldnt have ended 2010 at number 1 if Clijsters wasn't part timing it. Clijsters losing in the 3rd round of the AO and missing the French in the end were the ultimate nail in the coffin adding in the fact that After Wimbledon Woz won almost every single tournament Kim didn't it seems like. Not Woz's fault Kim was playing part time as a mother.

2011...Kim again Part time. Li Na started out strong Aussie Finalist, RG champ then loses 2R Wimbledon and 1R US Open and Zero finals post French Open. Kvitova is the only other option to me, but her major results outside Wimbledon were horrible.

In 2010, all things considered I'd say that Clijsters was the player of the year, only winning 1 fewer title than Wozniacki, and her 3rd biggest title of the year, Miami, was a bigger deal than anything that Wozniacki won (Miami had a stronger field than Beijing did). Also Clijsters' 4th biggest title win of the year at Cincy, was on a par with Wozniacki's next biggest title wins in Montreal and Tokyo.

In 2011, I'd say that Kvitova was the player of the year, even if we don't factor in her Fed Cup exploits. She and Wozniacki both won 6 titles each, but of course her 2nd biggest title, the YEC, was more important than anything Wozniacki won. Plus she only had 1 fewer match win at the majors that year compared to Wozniacki (14 vs. 15). Plus her Madrid title on clay strengthens her credentials, and the fact that she won titles on grass (at the biggest event), indoor hard (including at the biggest event), clay (at one of the 3 biggest events) and outdoor hard stood out. And she also had a better win rate than Wozniacki that year, 84% vs. 79% though she played in 13 fewer matches.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Regarding 2004 on the women's side, if someone held a gun to my head and ask me to choose a player of the year, I'd probably go for Sharapova. The fact that her 2nd biggest title was a bigger deal than anything than Davenport won all year, stands out. She also at least had another 'significant' grand slam run at RG where she reached the quarter-finals. And she did beat both Davenport and Serena back to back to win her major which was huge (the rain delay changing the momentum of her SF is just the way things go). If she had won that Zurich final against Molik (the first defeat of her career in a tournament final), after beating Hantuchova, Venus and Dementieva en-route, and still gone on to win the YEC, then her player of the year credentials would have been noticeably stronger, and I would probably say it was her with less hesitation.

All fair points. I would say winning 4 titles in a row over the summer however is nothing to sneeze at. She won Stanford beating Venus in the finals. Then she won LA without dropping a set including back to back wins over Venus and Serena (how many players have beaten them both at the same tournament? I can only think of Clijsters, Henin and Hingis pulling it off), beating Serena 61 63. These were her first wins over the Williams since 2000. Won her next tournament without dropping a set thrashing FO Champ Myskina 61 61 in the final. Won Cincy after that....makes US Open SF without losing a set, wins first set 61...injury.

Not saying I would disagree with a sharapova #1 in 2004...but Lindsay did have some pretty impressive results at times...won 22 matches in a row at one point.
 
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boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
In 2010, all things considered I'd say that Clijsters was the player of the year, only winning 1 fewer title than Wozniacki, and her 3rd biggest title of the year, Miami, was a bigger deal than anything that Wozniacki won (Miami had a stronger field than Beijing did). Also Clijsters' 4th biggest title win of the year at Cincy, was on a par with Wozniacki's next biggest title wins in Montreal and Tokyo.

In 2011, I'd say that Kvitova was the player of the year, even if we don't factor in her Fed Cup exploits. She and Wozniacki both won 6 titles each, but of course her 2nd biggest title, the YEC, was more important than anything Wozniacki won. Plus she only had 1 fewer match win at the majors that year compared to Wozniacki (14 vs. 15). Plus her Madrid title on clay strengthens her credentials, and the fact that she won titles on grass (at the biggest event), indoor hard (including at the biggest event), clay (at one of the 3 biggest events) and outdoor hard stood out. And she also had a better win rate than Wozniacki that year, 84% vs. 79% though she played in 13 fewer matches.

Both of those years were extreme cases of people winning majors doing pretty poorly at all the majors they didn't win. Arguably Kim and Kvitova had powerhouse resumes...but also huge holes (Kim missing the French and losing R3 at the AO....Petra going out R1 at the US Open). The great wall of Denmark's consistency won out over the roller coaster years they had. Not saying it was correct, but I do see why it happened sadly. I do wish especially Kim had ended the year at #1.
 
True, but outside of that her fitness and consistency were up and down after being sick. I think she only played 40 matches the entire year which for her is a very low number. She even struggled in 2005 only really seeming to bounce back in 2006 when she began dominating. She really invested a lot in the Olympics though, although honestly she squeaked by that SF against Myskina.
Myskina did underachieve a bit in the end. Kind of stagnated after being the first russian open era female winner (in general iirc?)

Henin always was a tough ask in a nailbiter..if anything she could lose more often relatively quickly than choke a close, long match away. Still miss her. Barty almost was a good enough substitute
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
1977 men- This one is pretty clear. Connors ended #1. Most agree Borg or Vilas should have ended this year ranked #1. Personally I would say Borg.
It can only be Vilas based on playing activity. That's what ranking systems care about, not head-to-heads.

1989 men- Lendl ended the year ranked #1. Should have been Becker.
With 1989, while Becker had the best year in terms of winning Wimbledon, US Open and Davis Cup, and going 2-0 in matches against Lendl, the fact of the matter is that any computer ranking system would have had Lendl as world number 1 for 1989.

Lendl's win-loss record in 1989 was 79-7 and 10 titles won, compared to Becker's 64-8 win-loss record and 5 titles won. Lendl in 1989 won the Australian Open, Scottsdale, Key Biscayne, Forest Hills, Hamburg, Queen's Club, Canadian Open, Bordeaux, Sydney Indoor and Stockholm. Becker in 1989 won Milan, Philadelphia, Wimbledon, US Open and Paris Indoor. Ranking systems tend to award activity and win-loss records overall first and foremost. Becker did win the 1989 Davis Cup with West Germany also, with dominant performances in the final, but that's non-ranked.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
All fair points. I would say winning 4 titles in a row over the summer however is nothing to sneeze at. She won Stanford beating Venus in the finals. Then she won LA without dropping a set including back to back wins over Venus and Serena (how many players have beaten them both at the same tournament? I can only think of Clijsters, Henin and Hingis pulling it off), beating Serena 61 63. These were her first wins over the Williams since 2000. Won her next tournament without dropping a set thrashing FO Champ Myskina 61 61 in the final. Won Cincy after that....makes US Open SF without losing a set, wins first set 61...injury.

Not saying I would disagree with a sharapova #1 in 2004...but Lindsay did have some pretty impressive results at times...won 22 matches in a row at one point.

Yes Davenport's summer surge, including the Californian 3-peat in 3 consecutive weeks (I remember many fans who started off cheering for in the San Diego final switching to root for Myskina as they wanted to her to prolong the match for as long as she possibly could) was stunning, especially on the back of her opening talking about how she was considering retirement after her Wimbledon defeat. What a turnaround that was. And the fact that she also won a title on har-tru in Amelia Island, alongside her indoor titles in Tokyo and Filderstadt, was nice going. I wish she had won the US Open title, mainly because it seemed like it was her time and another major win (which never came) felt long overdue.

Also had she won the US Open there would be no debate about who was the best in 2004. But as she didn't, it has opened up this 'messy situation ! Factoring in Indian Wells, I'd say that alongside not reaching the final at any of the 5 biggest events that she entered, she also wasn't able to win the title at the 6th biggest event that she entered as well.

To be honest I don't think Sharapova would be a convincing player of the year in 2004 either - no-one is whether it is her, Myskina, Kuznetsova, Henin, Davenport or Mauresmo for different reasons. It's just that if I was forced to make a snap call there, I'd probably go for her by a wafer thin margin. I'd say it's one of the most difficult years I've followed on either the women's or men's side to pick a player of the year.

Maybe Myskina's Fed Cup heroics (Dementieva was Russia's Fed Cup hero in 2005 but she was their hero in 2004), not worth any ranking points, should carry some (more) weight here in the player of the year discussions though.

Mauresmo only finished slightly behind Davenport in the WTA standings that year. The fact that both the year end no. 1 and year end no. 2, both failed to reach finals at any of the 4 slams (in an era when there were 4 equally important slams no less) and also at the YEC, was wild and wacky stuff. Mauresmo winning the Berlin-Rome double, only to tamely lose to Dementieva in the quarter-finals at RG, was hugely disappointing.
 
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martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Davenport had some of the worst luck in the world to not reach a major final in 2004.

I totally agree there, but that should have nothing to do with the #1 ranking and worthiness to it.

IMO Agassi was super unlucky to not win a 2nd slam somewhere in 1995, but that wouldn't give him a better case for the #1 ranking.


I forgot to mention Kvitova in 2011. I don't see a single case for Wozniacki. If I recall Kvitova not only won Wimbledon and the YEC vs Wozniacki reaching no major finals, but she won the exact same number of tournaments and had an almost identical win percentage. So yeah that was ridiculous, Kvitova by a country miles, as the Player of Year awards agreeing, every single one, even random ones like every tennis magazine, going to Kvitova. In fact that is probably the easiest and most blatant one ever.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Yes Davenport's summer surge, including the Californian 3-peat in 3 consecutive weeks (I remember many fans who started off cheering for in the San Diego final switching to root for Myskina as they wanted to her to prolong the match for as long as she possibly could) was stunning, especially on the back of her opening talking about how she was considering retirement after her Wimbledon defeat. What a turnaround that was. And the fact that she also won a title on har-tru in Amelia Island, alongside her indoor titles in Tokyo and Filderstadt, was nice going. I wish she had won the US Open title, mainly because it seemed like it was her time and another major win (which never came) felt long overdue.

Also had she won the US Open there would be no debate about who was the best in 2004. But as she didn't, it has opened up this 'messy situation ! Factoring in Indian Wells, I'd say that alongside not reaching the final at any of the 5 biggest events that she entered, she also wasn't able to win the title at the 6th biggest event that she entered as well.

To be honest I don't think Sharapova would be a convincing player of the year in 2004 either - no-one is whether it is her, Myskina, Kuznetsova, Henin, Davenport or Mauresmo for different reasons. It's just that if I was forced to make a snap call there, I'd probably go for her by a wafer thin margin. I'd say it's one of the most difficult years I've followed on either the women's or men's side to pick a player of the year.

Maybe Myskina's Fed Cup heroics (Dementieva was Russia's Fed Cup hero in 2005 but she was their hero in 2004), not worth any ranking points, should carry some (more) weight here in the player of the year discussions though.

Mauresmo only finished slightly behind Davenport in the WTA standings that year. The fact that both the year end no. 1 and year end no. 2, both failed to reach finals at any of the 4 slams (in an era when there were 4 equally important slams no less) and also at the YEC, was wild and wacky stuff. Mauresmo winning the Berlin-Rome double, only not tamely lose to Dementieva in the quarter-finals at RG, was hugely disappointing.
AHHHHHH Mauresmo. One of my favorite "bag of nerves" of all time. So freaking talented.....and seemingly so in her own way so often...most notably at home at Roland Garros. She got her moments at the majors in 2006 though which was nice to see after so many times of me yelling "GET A GRIP YOU CAN DO THIS" while watching her play. 2004 RG could have been hers...had she not had this huge wall up about that tournament. Ironic she choked against Dementieva...to then watch Dementieva choke big time in the final.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Both of those years were extreme cases of people winning majors doing pretty poorly at all the majors they didn't win. Arguably Kim and Kvitova had powerhouse resumes...but also huge holes (Kim missing the French and losing R3 at the AO....Petra going out R1 at the US Open). The great wall of Denmark's consistency won out over the roller coaster years they had. Not saying it was correct, but I do see why it happened sadly. I do wish especially Kim had ended the year at #1.

Kvitova did at least reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne in 2011 and 4th round at RG (losing to the eventual champion Li Na), so she only had 1 bad grand slam showing that year. Wozniacki also failed to make it past the 4th round in either RG or Wimbledon.

She did have poor runs of results from Dubai through to Miami, and also during the summer hard court season. But winning the YEC undefeated (where Wozniacki was eliminated in the RR stage) was impressive, as was her straight sets win against Clijsters in the Paris indoor event near the start of the year.

I saw that Clijsters only played 47 matches in 2010, and it could be argued that she didn't play enough that year to be in consideration for the player of the year crown (with under 50 matches). Saying that the fact that she still won 2 out of the 5 biggest events, 3 out of the biggest 9 and 4 out of the biggest 14 (by designation), does go a long way to making up for that.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
2004 was a crazy year on the women's side. It's difficult to pin-point any one player as the best.

Davenport also didn't reach the final at the YEC, getting eliminated in the group stage by Myskina. It an era when the grand slams had become increasingly more important relative to other events, and the prize money in the YEC was on the up, it's difficult to say that a player that didn't reach the final at any of the 5 biggest annual tournaments (she didn't play in the Olympics instead going on a tear in the US summer hard court events) was the best. Clearly she was hugely unlucky to get injured at and not win the US Open, but that's unfortunately part and parcel of the sport.

Henin and Sharapova both won 2 out of the 6 biggest events each, with Henin also winning Indian Wells. But of course Henin struggled with a virus for much of the year and only played in 39 matches. And Sharapova, while her year was stunningly successful especially given her young age, probably wasn't strong enough at the non-Wimbledon majors to be considered as the best, and 3 out of her 5 titles came at Tier 3 / 4 events. Myskina won titles on 3 different surfaces that year (outdoor hard - Doha, clay - RG and indoor carpet - Moscow straight setting Davenport and Dementieva back to back), but again it's difficult to say that a player that 'only' won 3 titles (plus she lost early at both Wimbledon and the US Open) was the best. She did also lead Russia to Fed Cup glory though, winning 7 out of her 8 singles matches (with the defeat coming in the 1st round) and teaming up with Zvonareva to win the decisive doubles rubber in the final, plus she was a semi-finalist (though losing Henin in heart-breaking circumstances) at the Olympics. Kuznetsova's record at the first 3 majors of the year wasn't strong enough for her to be considered as the best, plus her overall title collection was weaker than Myskina's (also winning 3 titles but at Tier 2 and 3 events alongside her slam, while Myskina's were at Tier 1 and 2 events alongside her slam).

It felt like a year of 'spurned opportunities' for my favourite player at the time Mauresmo.

One thing for sure, that is the year Mauresmo could have potentially won 3 majors (French, Wimbledon, US Open) and even just winning 1 she would have a pretty easy case for #1 that year. What a blown opportunity.

If I had to pick the real #1 of that year it would be Henin or Sharapova. Henin even with her limited playing time won Australian Open, Olympics, and Indian Wells, all bigger tournaments than any Davenport won that year, and 5 titles overall. Sharapova of course won Wimbledon and the YEC and had semi consistent results. I think one governing body named Dementieva, who was the only player to reach 2 slam finals, and one named Myskina which shows you how wide open the year was. I don't have a huge problem with Davenport as nobody was deserving of it, but she wouldn't be my top pick either.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Kvitova did at least reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne in 2011 and 4th round at RG (losing to the eventual champion Li Na), so she only had 1 bad grand slam showing that year. Wozniacki also failed to make it past the 4th round in either RG or Wimbledon.

She did have poor runs of results from Dubai through to Miami, and also during the summer hard court season. But winning the YEC undefeated (where Wozniacki was eliminated in the RR stage) was impressive, as was her straight sets win against Clijsters in the Paris indoor event near the start of the year.

I saw that Clijsters only played 47 matches in 2010, and it could be argued that she didn't play enough that year to be in consideration for the player of the year crown (with under 50 matches). Saying that the fact that she still won 2 out of the 5 biggest events, 3 out of the biggest 9 and 4 out of the biggest 14 (by designation), does go a long way to making up for that.

I totally forgot 2011, but Kvitova is a super easy choice for 2011. In fact the most blatant example ever. She even won the same number of tournaments and had a similar win percentage to Wozniacki, so the so called consistency argument even goes down the toilet here. She won Wimbledon and YEC vs Wozniacki not reaching a major final. Blowout in Kvitova's favor. This is the year more than any other that they should have immediately changed the ranking system since it was an obvious sham. I remember Wozniacki at a press conference for the Australian Open early next year whining that Kvitova won every single player of the year award over her the previous year, I so wish I were a reporter so I could say "duh, what do you expect dumb ass, do you think anyone but the computer viewed you as number 1 last year, LOL!" And I even like Wozniacki, but was stunned she would even dare question that at a press conference.

I also am not sure Wozniacki deserved 2010 but it is up in the air enough I won't bother much with it. However even this year Clijsters won more of the Player of the Year awards than she did (Wozniacki unlike 2011 atleast was picked by some).

Another I forgot is 2005. I would give this to Clijsters over Davenport, but Clijsters didn't actually get past the round of 16 of any major outside her US Open win (ironically losing to Davenport in 3 sets at both Wimbledon and shockingly at the French where she choked big time) so I can atleast see a case for Davenport there. However Clijsters virtually swept the Player of Year awards, including WTA, ITF, Tennis Magazine, French Tennis Magazine, all the biggest sources, which I always look at as a good metric.

Still nothing ever comes close to 2011, probably not even a few of the more ridiculous mens ones like Connors in 77 and McEnroe in 82.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Kvitova did at least reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne in 2011 and 4th round at RG (losing to the eventual champion Li Na), so she only had 1 bad grand slam showing that year. Wozniacki also failed to make it past the 4th round in either RG or Wimbledon.

She did have poor runs of results from Dubai through to Miami, and also during the summer hard court season. But winning the YEC undefeated (where Wozniacki was eliminated in the RR stage) was impressive, as was her straight sets win against Clijsters in the Paris indoor event near the start of the year.

I saw that Clijsters only played 47 matches in 2010, and it could be argued that she didn't play enough that year to be in consideration for the player of the year crown (with under 50 matches). Saying that the fact that she still won 2 out of the 5 biggest events, 3 out of the biggest 9 and 4 out of the biggest 14 (by designation), does go a long way to making up for that.

That's what really stinks about being part time. Again I really don't fault Kim, I love her and wish she had been year end #1 that year, the message that would have sent that she did that as a mother would have been amazing. But playing part time means you have to really knock EVERYTHING out of the park especially when its based on cumulative points. Off hand I cannot remember how many points separated her and Woz that year, but I feel like it was so close that if Kim had played and won even a few matches at some tournament between the AO and Indian Wells (she skipped all of them) or not torn a muscle in her foot/missed all of Madrid, Rome and the French...she would have had it. All her wins were balanced by some pretty big mandatory zeroes in the rankings and sort of washed. It really stinks for her because I would categorically agree at her best she was the best in 2010...but she also missed a fair amount of 2010.

2011 was just busted. You had Li Na start off so strong at the majors then have one of the biggest 2nd half of the year implosions I have ever seen. Kvitova at times looked like a goddess, then she looks like she was lost in the deadlights. 2011 US Open had the reigning Wimbledon and French Open Champs both our round 1 and Clijsters not even playing. No current major champion was present after round 1 was completed, which may be the first time in major history that EVER happened. Just a really weird 2 years for pretty much the entire tour
 
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martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
In 1998, while I might not go as far as to say that it was wrong that Sampras ended 1998 at no. 1, I've always struggled to regard him as the best that year. To me his overall record, and level of play during the year, wasn't quite good enough. Probably his best tennis of the year was at Vienna during the fall (especially his QF demolition of Henman), which he only entered after Becker donated his wildcard to him. I personally consider him to be the best from 1993-1997, but can't include 1998.

If we use 1973 when the ATP computer rankings were introduced as a starting point, and say that Ashe was no. 1 in 1975, either Vilas or Borg was no. 1 in 1977 and Connors was no. 1 in 1982 - it doesn't matter whether we classify Borg or Connors as the best in 1978 (though for me it was definitely Borg), or Becker or Lendl as the best in 1989 (though for me it was definitely Becker) - then Sampras's 1998 looks weak in comparison to every other season put together by any other 'player of the year'.

I believe that the only seasons from 1973 in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year didn't win at least 5 titles, were Sampras in 1998, Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018, Nadal in 2019, and Djokovic in 2020, who all won 4 titles in those respective years. Of course Federer in 2009, Djokovic in 2018 and Nadal in 2019 all won 2 majors plus 2 masters series titles (and Federer in 2009 and Nadal in 2019 had incredibly consistent records at the majors), while 2020 was COVID interrupted but Djokovic's title distribution and body or work were still clearly better that year than Sampras's in 1998.

And I believe that the only seasons from 1973 onwards in which a year end no. 1 and / or true player of the year had a sub-80% win rate, were Sampras in 1998 (78%), Kuerten in 2000 (74%) and Roddick in 2003 (79%) - Courier's W/L record in 1992 rounds up from 79.5% to 80% and so just makes it there. Kuerten's record at the other 3 majors away from Paris in 2000 was definitely weak for a year end no. 1, but at least he won the YEC in impressive fashion, won Hamburg on the back of reaching the final at Rome, won Indianapolis which was a pretty strong and highly regarded tournament etc.

I personally would go with Rafter over Sampras for 98. However it is close enough, it is barely worth mentioning at all in the face of so many other choices, and didn't Rafter not even end 98 at #2 on the computer? Which makes his case even weaker.

Any one would have been a really weak #1 that year though, no matter whether it was Sampras, Rios, or Rafter. Maybe that should be a year the #1 ranking should be left void for the year if that were even possible, which of course would never happen, but I agree with all you are saying here.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Someome mentioned Federer in 2017 instead of Nadal. That is an interesting one to me. It is kind of a case I see Federer as best player, but Nadal deserving of the #1 ranking, which are two different things. I could see arguments both ways, but that is generally how I see it. I am curious now to review my feelings on that so will look up their years in more detail, but my general feeling is Federer was the true "best" player that year, but not sure if results wise Nadal was the wrongful #1. Someone like @abmk would be good to weigh in on this one.

Djokovic vs Murray in 2016 is another ineresting one. Someone like @Mainad or @Hitman would be the best to weigh in here. I am on the fence here, had absolutely no problem with Murray getting in, but can see the case for Djokovic, especialy as I am a majors heavy thinker (note I am not saying I don't think overall tournament results and overall tour results shouldn't count, I am not that extreme, but don't think the biggest events are emphasized nearly enough in the rankings these days either), and it is not like Djokovic's tour events were lacking by any means considering his overall year (the negative impression of his ending the year very badly does not infer to his overall results if they still come well on average). Murray winning the YEC and YEC final over Djokvoic, along with his overall year consistency and numerous strong results gives him a good case too.

Personally I think Nadal was defnitely more deserving than Alcarez in 2022. Mind you it would likely have been Djokovic easily without all his bans (although I think he deserved his bans for not following simple protocals). So all around that year is a mess.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
AHHHHHH Mauresmo. One of my favorite "bag of nerves" of all time. So freaking talented.....and seemingly so in her own way so often...most notably at home at Roland Garros. She got her moments at the majors in 2006 though which was nice to see after so many times of me yelling "GET A GRIP YOU CAN DO THIS" while watching her play. 2004 RG could have been hers...had she not had this huge wall up about that tournament. Ironic she choked against Dementieva...to then watch Dementieva choke big time in the final.

If the clay court major had in been in any other country than Amélie's home country, she would clearly have had a much better record there. It was painful watching her continually crumble in front of her home fans. The problem definitely wasn't that she failed to win RG (that can happen). The problem was that she failed to come close to winning RG, never reaching one single semi-final there, and only reaching 2 quarter-finals there both of which she lost in straight sets.

Henin had the perfect deal with the French crowd, as she received a lot of support and adulation, but didn't have to deal with the expectation of the French fans and media. When Amélie struggled in Paris large sections of the crowd would turn on and boo her.

Her match vs. Jana Kandarr at RG in 2001, is unquestionably the worst choke I've ever seen by a top player bar none. Sabatini vs. Fernandez at RG in 1993, Novotna vs. Graf at Wimbledon in 1993, Dementieva vs. Myskina at RG in 2004, Henin vs. Bartoli at Wimbledon in 2007 etc., are simply not in the same league IMO. Choking in an early round match is far worse than choking in a final or semi-final, and she choked in R1. Choking right from the start of a match (failing to handle the occasion at all) is far worse than choking after opening up a strong lead and being close to victory, and she choked from the very first point. Choking against a less illustrious opponent is far worse than choking against a more illustrious one, and she choked against an opponent that was ranked outside the top 50, never reached a WTA tour level final during her career and only once progressed beyond R2 at a slam.

At that same tournament, Henin should have beaten Clijsters in the semis, but choked when the finishing line and a place in the final was in sight. However that was a far more understandable choke given the far higher stakes and far stronger opponent.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Lendl 89
Agassi 99
Nadal 2017

Lendl 89 is an interesting one to me, as I have seen some valid arguments made for him deserving it. However I still maintain Becker's overall results, even on the regular tour were similar enough to Lendl's 2 majors to 1 should be enough.

I can't agree Sampras deserved it over Agassi for 99 based on results, but as for who was actually the best player IMO hands down Sampras. So it depends which you are referring to, I tend to distinguish between the two, and am speaking more who is more deserving IMO based on results and actual years than subjectively who I view as best player in some cases. Like I am not picking Borg slightly over Vilas for 77 based on my thinking Borg was the best player (although I clearly do, especialy compared to Vilas) but since strictly on actual results, given the context of the time, I even believe he is slightly ahead of both Vilas and Connors.
 

BauerAlmeida

Hall of Fame
Federer was "better" than Nadal in 2017, but Nadal the rightful #1. Federer skipped an entire surface and didn't do too good at the USO.

While Nadal reached another final outside the slams he won and on grass didn't do much but what he did trumps Federer skipping clay. He had some very good results on HC all year long.

Sure Federer dominated the H2H, but that doesn't matter in terms of ranking. Nobody would argue Nadal deserved #1 in 2006 over Federer.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I personally would go with Rafter over Sampras for 98. However it is close enough, it is barely worth mentioning at all in the face of so many other choices, and didn't Rafter not even end 98 at #2 on the computer? Which makes his case even weaker.

Any one would have been a really weak #1 that year though, no matter whether it was Sampras, Rios, or Rafter. Maybe that should be a year the #1 ranking should be left void for the year if that were even possible, which of course would never happen, but I agree with all you are saying here.

Yes if there's one season on the men's side that I've followed and would that overall no-one deserved the player of the crown for, it would be 1998. And if there's one season on the women's side that I'd say the same thing for, it would be 2004 (though maybe 2010 comes close there). I can't help but wonder how amazing 2004 could have been if (even) more of the top players been fully fit at the same time, as there were a staggering number of big names / elite players around.

If Ríos had beaten Korda (a big if given the one-sided scoreline) in the 1998 AO final, and all other results for the year been the same, then I'd say he would have been the player of the year, with a major title alongside his triumphs at Indian Wells, Miami and Rome, plus the Grand Slam Cup at the end of the year. But pre-match, several commentators said that they felt the match was more on Korda's racket than Rios's, as they were both very talented shot-makers, but Korda had a much better serve and more powerful groundstrokes.
 
Lendl 89 is an interesting one to me, as I have seen some valid arguments made for him deserving it. However I still maintain Becker's overall results, even on the regular tour were similar enough to Lendl's 2 majors to 1 should be enough.

I can't agree Sampras deserved it over Agassi for 99 based on results, but as for who was actually the best player IMO hands down Sampras. So it depends which you are referring to, I tend to distinguish between the two, and am speaking more who is more deserving IMO based on results and actual years than subjectively who I view as best player in some cases. Like I am not picking Borg slightly over Vilas for 77 based on my thinking Borg was the best player (although I clearly do, especialy compared to Vilas) but since strictly on actual results, given the context of the time, I even believe he is slightly ahead of both Vilas and Connors.
Agassi deserved it based on results, but I was a big Agassi fan back then, watched all their matches and it was an awful frustration as he on times looked completely helpless. The Wimbledon final, the Cincinnati semi and the YEC final were complete beatdowns where you never had the impression that Agassi at any point had a chance (apart from the three break points at 3-3 in the Wimbly first set which Pete quickly defended with GOAT serves).
Agassi himself said in the Wimbledon after match speech that he does not feel like the No.1.
I also find it tough for his No.1 case that he won the USO in Pete's absence just between the beatdowns of Cincy and rhe YEC. He wasn't No.1 undeservedly but nobody including himself felt it at that time. It is a little like Ding Liren being chess world champion.
 

martinezownsclay

Hall of Fame
Yes if there's one season on the men's side that I've followed and would that overall no-one deserved the player of the crown, it would be 1998. And if there's one season on the women's side that I'd say the same thing for, it would be 2004. I can't help but wonder how amazing 2004 could have been had (even) more of the top players been fully fit at the same time, as there were a staggering number of big names / elite players around.

If Ríos had beaten Korda (a big if given the one-sided scoreline) in the AO final, and all other results for the year been the same, then I'd say he would have been the player of the year, with a major title alongside his triumphs at Indian Wells, Miami and Rome, plus the Grand Slam Cup at the end of the year. But pre-match, several commentators said that they felt the match was more on Korda's racket than Rios's, as they were both very talented shot-makers, but Korda had a much better serve and more powerful groundstrokes.

2004 is the funniest year in tennis history as so many players had potential to win 2 or 3 slams.

Henin- She tops the list. Probably easily dominates the year if she doesn't get sick, and probably tops even her career year of total dominance in 2007.

Clijsters- Which Henin going down with illness could have owned 2004 if she didn't go down with injury.

Serena- Obviously was capable of winning all 3 slams she played, Wimbledon and the US Open fairly easily if she didn't have a bad day in the WImbledon final and didn't lose that controversial quarter final to Capriati. OK a red hot Sharapova in the Wimbledon final, and very in form Kuznetsova in the US Open final are probably still battles, but very winnable. Came very close to winning the YEC too. Despite not being near back to her 2002-2003 level, was capable of winning almost everything.

Mauresmo- As already mentioned had good chances to win all 3 of French, Wimbledon, US Open, particularly French and WImbledon. If she closes out Serena at Wimbledon, which she should have, likely beats Sharapova who she owns career wise. French was wide open of course.

Dementieva- Lost 2 slam finals which were both winnable, although the US Open is a tougher task than the French Open final.

Myskina- Based on some of her summer form had a chance at the US Open title. Had an outside shot at the Australian Open title. Came close to winning the Olympics. Did win the French.

Davenport- Missed out on big chances to win both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Kuznetsova- Had match point vs eventual champion Myskina at the French, and obviously would later win a French, and reach 2 French finals. Given the relatively easy draw of poorly playing opponents (Venus, Capriati, Dementieva all gave mediocre to poor performances vs hard court specialist Myskina leading to very easy wins in all the matches for Myskina), quite possible she goes on to win if she convereted that (far from sure as she had 3 more matches left, but definitely a shot) and did win the US Open.

Sharapova- Did win Wimbledon and the YEC. There is probably a world she could win the French given how wide open the draw was, despite not being that good on clay yet, or the US Open.

Capriati- Obviously had real chances at both the French and US Open titles that year.

Venus- Had a good shot at the French title that year, despite that being her worst surface. There is probably a world she wins one of WImbledon or the US Open that year, despite not really being in great form.

I counted 10 or 11 women who could have hypothetically won 2 or 3 majors that year, LOL!
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Lendl's win-loss record in 1989 was 79-7 and 10 titles won, compared to Becker's 64-8 win-loss record and 5 titles won. Lendl in 1989 won the Australian Open, Scottsdale, Key Biscayne, Forest Hills, Hamburg, Queen's Club, Canadian Open, Bordeaux, Sydney Indoor and Stockholm. Becker in 1989 won Milan, Philadelphia, Wimbledon, US Open and Paris Indoor.
This actually puts 1989 into a better perspective. I don't care anything about H2H's in terms of YE #1, but Lendl's 10 titles is a big deal compared to Boris's 5 titles. Still, with Boris winning 2 slams and the YEC, it's a tough call and I say this as a huge Lendl fan.
 
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