Who was your 2016 #1: Murray or Djokovic?

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
From Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi:

" 'I couldn't care less. Pete is number one, no matter what some computer says. Pete won two Slams this year and he won our showdown in New York. Besides, I still don't give a rat's ass about being number one; would have been nice, wasn't my goal.' Then again, beating Pete wasn't my goal either, but losing to him has caused me to plummit into a bottomless gloom. Every day I tell myself to stop thinking about it..." -

Agassi said this to Brad Gilbert, who wanted Agassi to try and secure YE#1 for 1995 through injury. Clearly, Agassi's loss to Sampras in the 1995 US Open sent him into a tailspin and his psychological profile was nothing short of calamitous, yet his sentiment is striking. It got me thinking (I already was anyway) about who the best player of 2016 was: the guy who accrued more ranking points or the guy who won the extra Slam, beating his chief rival in both Slam finals. To Murray's credit, he won the final "showdown" in the World Tour Finals, with both players being chronically aware of what was on the line, but it's difficult for me to ignore the fact that Djokovic bested Murray in finals for his AO and RG triumphs.

On balance, although I do not wish to take away Murray's prestigious accolade, I do consider Djokovic to be the best player of 2016, and, in a sense, the true number one player for the season. In the end, it just reminded me of how much I feel the allocation of ranking points don't accurately portray the difference in prestige and importance between different tiers of events. By the same token, I'm not sure I'd change the ranking system. It is not the job of the ranking system to decide greatness, but rather it's a pragmatic structural device which does its best to ensure a thriving and opportunistic (enough) professional platform. This wasn't necessarily the primary intent, but it's how things have turned out in the end between the ATP and ITF.

As an aside, Agassi's statement shows how much tennis has changed. After all, he did get the best of Sampras at the Australian Open, and yet he only speaks of the "showdown in New York". The Australian Open — now named the Lambda-Open or the Upsidedown-V-Open —has come a long way.

I will likely remember 2016 as yet another year in which Djokovic was the best player in the world, and as a year where I was extremely pleased for Murray. It's only right to me that Murray would reach the #1 ranking eventually.

What are your thoughts on this? Who is your 2016 #1?

 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
I don't care. They have computers to figure that nonsense out.

Djokovic had the year that contributed more to his legacy.
 
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TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
Murray had a more intensive year by chasing the #1 ranking to the very end of the year, and only barely caught Novak. Nole won more 1000s and slams, but Murray made up for it with several 500s and the WTF. Murray deserves it, and Djokovic agrees.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Option 1: Just go with the rankings as they were tabulated. Conclusion=Murray is #1

Option 2: Throw rankings out the window and do my own analysis. Results:

(1) Djokovic has W, W, F, 3R at Majors; Murray has F, F, W, QF

(2) Murray has Olympic singles gold vs. a 1st round Olympics loss for Djokovic

(3) Murray has the WTF title + 3 Masters Series titles vs. 4 Masters Series titles for Djokovic

(4) Murray has three 500 level titles vs. zero 500 titles (and one 250 title) for Djokovic​

Conclusion: Murray's edge in 2-4 is enough to outweigh Djokovic's edge in #1. Murray is #1.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I totally missed that Novak won more masters. Thought they were at three each :confused:
In 2016:

Novak won 2 Slams (AO and FO), 4 Masters (IW, Miami, Madrid, Montreal) and 1 250 (Doha).

Andy won 1 Slam (WIMB), the WTF, 3 Masters (Rome, Shanghai, Paris) and 3 500s (Queens, Beijing, Vienna). He also won the Rio Olympics but that didn't count towards his ranking.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
I wouldn't put too much stock into what Agassi said in a book. Especially that part about bottomless gloom. He was always a massive drama queen. I liked his tennis, but there's no denying he took the woe is me characterization to a whole new level.

About who was #1 it's pretty simple, IMO. When it comes down to one match for the #1 ranking, then the winner deserves the #1 ranking I'd say.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
I would have rather had Djokovic's year but number one is a thing of consistency and Murray was deservedly number 1.

-Wimbledon
-OG and WTF
-3 Masters
Ain't too shabby either ;)
You're right of course but something tells me the next time there are discussions about who's had the better career out of Djokovic and Nadal, important things like the WTF, Masters 1000s and overall consistency will go straight out the window. ;)
 
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jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic had every chance to retain the #1 ranking, but didn't. He even had the opportunity to reclaim #1 in one match to somewhat redeem his horrible later half of the season. But instead he came up with one of his worst performances of the year.

I don't think Djokovic would trade his year for Murray's, but he only has himself to blame for losing the #1 spot. The computer rankings are fine.
 
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Tennisanity

Legend
I think most people would prefer to have Djokovic's year. But, attaining #1 was huge for Murray, not for the achievements in 2016, but for the confidence it should give him going forward.
 
Djokovic had a better year for his legacy, but Murray is the deserved #1 after Djokovic failed to retake it in the last match of the year.

It is disingenious when a Djokovic fan touts Djokovic as the real #1, since I am perfectly sure that, had Djokovic lost the '12 WTF final, they'd still rather agree with the computer rankings. (Djokovic would've remained #1, but Federer would've had a better year legacy-wise. It came to the last match in that regard, because both had 1 major and 3 masters titles that season.)
 
E

Emperor of Belgrade

Guest
Murray. Despite Olympics not rewarding any points he managed to win more of them in the end.

Wouldn't take his over Novak's year considering how much Roland Garros and the Slam streak meant for his legacy though.
 

Rafa the King

Hall of Fame
You're right of course but something tells me the next time there are discussions about who's had the better career out of Djokovic and Nadal, important things like the WTF, Masters 1000s and overall consistency will go straight out the window. ;)
I said I rather would have Nole's year didn't I? And would be stupid for me not to value WTF, it's 3rd on my list of most important achievements (behind GS and YE#1, tied with OG) and I've made my points clear on why I find Rafa to be greater than Nole, no point in repeating myself.
 

timnz

Legend
Laying it out - I think you have to include runner-ups as particularly slam runner-ups are an achievement in themselves (lesser than winning, but still an achievement):

Murray 9 tournaments won (including Wimbledon, WTF, Olympics and 3 Masters 1000) + 4 runner-ups (Australian Open, French Open and 2 Masters 1000)

Djokovic 7 tournaments won (including Australian Open, French Open and 4 Masters 1000) + 3 runner-ups (US Open, WTF and 1 Masters 1000)

It was basically very close - which is reflected in the ATP points. My belief is that one could argue that a WTF plus an Olympics games combined is at least as good as a slam. On top of that 2 more tournament wins and 2 slam runner-ups vs 1 slam runner-up. Murray has the edge for 2016.
 

uliks

Banned
Djokovic had every chance to retain the #1 ranking, but didn't. He even had the opportunity to reclaim #1 in one match to somewhat redeem his horrible later half of the season. But instead he came up with one of his worst performances of the year.

I don't think Djokovic would trade his year for Murray's, but he only has himself to blame for losing the #1 spot. The computer rankings are fine.
It was nice gift from Djokovic that's for sure. Whatever his top priorities for 2016 were, finishing #1 wasn't one of them!
 

veroniquem

Bionic Poster
Good question. I think it's a tie. Murray owned the best of 3 events: 3 master titles, WTF and Olympics (+ reached #1 for 1st time of course).
Djoko owned the slams with 2 titles, 3 finals and the legendary 4 in a row.
Sometimes, there are seasons with 2 #1 and that is just one of them. 2016 was historical for them both for different reasons.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Username -NN- (Nathaniel_Near), uses colours and sizes in his posts rather well, is clearly knowledgeable and makes balanced points... Nath, is that you?
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Although Murray won the battle for the year-end ranking, they shared honours equally for 2016 IMO.
 

6august

Hall of Fame
Sir Andy is clearly the No.1 but if I'm a Nole fan, I wouldn't trade Nole's achievements in 2016 for Murray's.
 

Noelan

Legend
It was nice gift from Djokovic that's for sure. Whatever his top priorities for 2016 were, finishing #1 wasn't one of them!
Many tend to forget that Djokovic injured himself before OG (Zimonic and Troicki confirmed it couple of times) .He didn't played Cincinati, or his favorite Beijing ,played USO with injury, was a bit lucky with retirements .Do you think that Murray would win Beijing if Novak was there healthy? Do you think that Murray would play Wiena otherwise?
 
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-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I agree with the computer.

Murray number 1.
Could you elaborate a little bit on why you agree with the comp.?

Username -NN- (Nathaniel_Near), uses colours and sizes in his posts rather well, is clearly knowledgeable and makes balanced points... Nath, is that you?
Yes mate.

Djokovic had every chance to retain the #1 ranking, but didn't. He even had the opportunity to reclaim #1 in one match to somewhat redeem his horrible later half of the season. But instead he came up with one of his worst performances of the year.

I don't think Djokovic would trade his year for Murray's, but he only has himself to blame for losing the #1 spot. The computer rankings are fine.
Yeah, I agree with that to a large degree. Djokovic knew the score and, under the current system, both knew they were playing for all the marbles, and Murray won. However, I can't help but feel, despite the number of good responses to the OP, that the issue of Murray twice losing to his chief rival in Slam finals is being overlooked.


***

Whose year would you rather have? I can't ignore the rankings system which has been subscribed to and played by the players, which Murray conquered for the YE#1 ranking. Yet, I know whose year I would have rather had, but that's only because Djokovic has already stacked up multiple other years as #1.

If Djokovic and Murray were both without a YE#1 accolade, I may have actually preferred Murray's year from a legacy standpoint, despite winning one less Slam. In isolation, the pure result of YE#1 + 1 Slam and other big titles is better than no YE#1 and 2 Slams for me. Nonetheless, in reaching that conclusion I'd still feel like the player who won 2 Slams should probably have somehow been awarded the #1 ranking.
 

AngryBirds

Semi-Pro
I'm quite sure Murray would gladly trade his year with Djokovic. Murray would have AO and French, which would complete his career slam.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Could you elaborate a little bit on why you agree with the comp.?



Yes mate.



Yeah, I agree with that to a large degree. Djokovic knew the score and, under the current system, both knew they were playing for all the marbles, and Murray won. However, I can't help but feel, despite the number of good responses to the OP, that the issue of Murray twice losing to his chief rival in Slam finals is being overlooked.
By god I hope this is true and not just joking! If so, then welcome back MVP :)

As to the discussion at hand... I guess we have to distinguish between metrics.

The problem here is that Djokovic wouldn't trade his year for Murray's 2016 and Murray wouldn't his for Djokovic's. This is due to the fact that they both achieved monumental milestones of their careers in this year, Djokovic won RG and the CGS as an extension, and Murray finally cemented himself in tennis history as a true great by getting to number 1 (computer based ranking). I guess in their eyes they achieved what was most important throughout the year, which means that we can't really look at their own views to determine who had the better year (what I consider to be one of the better metrics really).

We can take the slam win perspective, which is a bit oversimplified I find, but in that case Djokovic wins this one.

Of course there's the computer calculated ranking perspective, which is the obvious one here.

Then we can try to compare which year added more to the legacy of the respective player I suppose... Is Murray's number 1 and extra Wimby more significant than Djokovic's two slam wins and CGS? There is no obvious answer to this I think.
 
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Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Whose year would you rather have? I can't ignore the rankings system which has been subscribed to and played by the players, which Murray conquered for the YE#1 ranking. Yet, I know whose year I would have rather had, but that's only because Djokovic has already stacked up multiple other years as #1.

If Djokovic and Murray were both without a YE#1 accolade, I may have actually preferred Murray's year from a legacy standpoint, despite winning one less Slam. In isolation, the pure result of YE#1 + 1 Slam and other big titles is better than no YE#1 and 2 Slams for me. Nonetheless, in reaching that conclusion I'd still feel like the player who won 2 Slams should probably have somehow been awarded the #1 ranking.
So to keep the debate going, how much are we valuing Olympic Gold? I say this because although Olympic Gold is not seen as a landmark achievement from a strictly tennis perspective due to the relatively short history in the modern era, it is widely regarded as a huge accomplishment in the overall sporting world. If we take the Olympic Gold at full value, then I'd put it up there in prestige at least right alongside a GS. It deserves that much I think.

Now I'm pretty sure I've been on record here over many topics about this, that I'd take Djokovic's year personally, but it's complicated because it's like @SpinToWin said, if I was Murray I wouldn't trade years with Djokovic, and if I was Djokovic I wouldn't trade years with Murray either.

All that said, I do think Murray deserved the #1 ranking in the sense that he finished the year very strong and was consistent throughout. Even more to the point, I didn't feel Djokovic deserved to be #1 for his lackluster performances after RG.
 
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Murray, though was a shoot out for it at the end. Had Djokovic won, he'd have deserved number 1. As it was, Murray deserved it. Was close though all things considered. Remember, Murray didn't receive any additional ranking points for winning the Olympics, which is a big tournament in this day and age for the top stars.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
As an aside, Agassi's statement shows how much tennis has changed. After all, he did get the best of Sampras at the Australian Open, and yet he only speaks of the "showdown in New York". The Australian Open — now named the Lambda-Open or the Upsidedown-V-Open —has come a long way.
No, Agassi clearly mentions the two (!) Slams that Sampras had won compared to his one, so the Australian Open DID count in fact. The US Open was just the final and decisive showdown because both had won one Slam before that year.

By the way, mainly because of Agassi’s first participation at Australia in 1995 all of the big names were present now and this was the final step for the tournament to be recognized as a Slam equal to the other 3.

On topic: Murray is a deserved Number One. Contrary to Djokovic he didn’t have just one good half of the season, so the computer didn’t lie in the end.
 
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-NN-

G.O.A.T.
By god I hope this is true and not just joking! If so, then welcome back MVP :)

As to the discussion at hand... I guess we have to distinguish between metrics.

The problem here is that Djokovic wouldn't trade his year for Murray's 2016 and Murray wouldn't his for Djokovic's. This is due to the fact that they both achieved monumental milestones of their careers in this year, Djokovic won RG and the CGS as an extension, and Murray finally cemented himself in tennis history as a true great by getting to number 1 (computer based ranking). I guess in their eyes they achieved what was most important throughout the year, which means that we can't really look at their own views to determine who had the better year (what I consider to be one of the better metrics really).

We can take the slam win perspective, which is a bit oversimplified I find, but in that case Djokovic wins this one.

Of course there's the computer calculated ranking perspective, which is the obvious one here.

Then we can try to compare which year added more to the legacy of the respective player I suppose... Is Murray's number 1 and extra Wimby more significant than Djokovic's two slam wins and CGS? There is no obvious answer to this I think.
So to keep the debate going, how much are we valuing Olympic Gold? I say this because although Olympic Gold is not seen as a landmark achievement from a strictly tennis perspective due to the relatively short history in the modern era, it is widely regarded as a huge accomplishment in the overall sporting world. If we take the Olympic Gold at full value, then I'd put it up there in prestige at least right alongside a GS. It deserves that much I think.

Now I'm pretty sure I've been on record here over many topics about this, that I'd take Djokovic's year personally, but it's complicated because it's like @SpinToWin said, if I was Murray I wouldn't trade years with Djokovic, and if I was Djokovic I wouldn't trade years with Murray either.

All that said, I do think Murray deserved the #1 ranking in the sense that he finished the year very strong and was consistent throughout. Even more to the point, I didn't feel Djokovic deserved to be #1 for his lackluster performances after RG.

In terms of trading years, I'm quite sure neither would. Obviously, it isn't always easy to just completely divorce the accomplishments of their context, namely: Djokovic's quest for the Career Slam (and also four on the bounce) and Murray's quest to finally be ranked the #1 player, which he then further cemented by securing YE#1 by directly defeating his chief rival in the last tournament of the year. However, really I was just thinking strictly about who deserved to be #1 more in the first place given their tournament results for the year, regardless of if Djokovic completed a Career Slam or whatnot. I think that even if we were to say, for the sake of argument, that the Olympics isn't on the level of a Slam, it's quite reasonable to suggest that the combination of that and the YEC is equal to a Slam. In other words, even by a worst case scenario, Murray was hardly undeserving of being crowned YE#1. It's just that, as great as Murray's year was, I wonder if Djokovic's was even better. Of course, in reality it was not, because Murray clinched the YE#1 regardless of what I think about it. I dunno about you guys, but cracking YE#1 is a huge deal and probably bigger than winning a single Slam; although various permutations can change one's opinion on that kind of thing, such as if X player has won a Slam in the first place. What's obvious is that because we know the stories and paths of these players, we have a slightly different appreciation of what they have achieved than if they had done it in a vacuum, same career numbers and all. With Murray toiling at such a high level for so long behind the Trifecta of tennis, it feels absolutely and utterly well earnt and deserved. We know his path and as such, despite the obvious discrepancy between the Slam wins, the fanbases have been quite unified in honouring Murray's accomplishment and the Novak fanbase has been quite classy about it - kudos for that.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Laying it out - I think you have to include runner-ups as particularly slam runner-ups are an achievement in themselves (lesser than winning, but still an achievement):

Murray 9 tournaments won (including Wimbledon, WTF, Olympics and 3 Masters 1000) + 4 runner-ups (Australian Open, French Open and 2 Masters 1000)

Djokovic 7 tournaments won (including Australian Open, French Open and 4 Masters 1000) + 3 runner-ups (US Open, WTF and 1 Masters 1000)

It was basically very close - which is reflected in the ATP points. My belief is that one could argue that a WTF plus an Olympics games combined is at least as good as a slam. On top of that 2 more tournament wins and 2 slam runner-ups vs 1 slam runner-up. Murray has the edge for 2016.
Not just for the year but I think in general when assessing careers that using a Slam runner-up metric is something we could go to more. I consider Murray a much greater player already than someone who has "only" won three Majors. It's dayum difficult to reach 11 Grand Slam Finals. His opponents in them were typically Federer or Djokovic. Good luck with that. Andy Murray has been prolific and very consistent. It would be good to see Djokovic continue the promise he showed in the Doha final and see that Djokovic go up against a fully grooved Murray. Yeah, I know that the rivalry for most people is quite dull, but I've really enjoyed it in recent times.

I think Murray is close to being in league with the likes of Wilander and Edberg. This will likely be an unpopular view given the large discrepancy in their Slam tallies, but I think Murray is headed there, which is much further than I thought he'd go since his back surgery.

Well, the dream of course would be for Federer to win consecutive Calendar Slams. I don't rate his chances highly at all for the upcoming AO.
 
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