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Post Info TOPIC: Greatest Players of All Time - according to Tennis Abstract


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Greatest Players of All Time - according to Tennis Abstract


The guys over at Tennis Abstract have developed an algorithm based on the ELO concept to list the best 128 players, men and women combined, since 1919.

Here is the overview

https://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/02/01/introducing-the-tennis-128/

and at the bottom of the link above is the list of players with links to in depth write ups on their career and some highlights of their lives. It is well done and in depth - Brits in it so far (between 117 and 128 as I type ) are Betty Nuthall and Angela Mortimer.

One would expect that we will see Andy, Fred Perry, Virginia Wade and Ann Jones. Others that might appear are Bunny Austin, Dorothy Round, Kitty Godfree, Christine Truman. It looks like you need to win at least one slam to get near the list, ideally 3 or more, and these I think are our players who might stand a chance...    

128. Beverly Baker Fleitz

127. Stan Wawrinka (podcast)

126. Jean Borotra

125. Li Na

124. Betty Nuthall

123. Michael Stich (podcast)

122. Ashley Cooper

121. Angela Mortimer

120. Kei Nishikori

119. Adrian Quist

118. Bill Johnston

117. Darlene Hard

 

 

 



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128. Beverly Baker Fleitz

127. Stan Wawrinka (podcast)

126. Jean Borotra

125. Li Na

124. Betty Nuthall

123. Michael Stich (podcast)

122. Ashley Cooper

121. Angela Mortimer

120. Kei Nishikori

119. Adrian Quist

118. Bill Johnston

117. Darlene Hard

116. Ted Schroeder

www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/03/03/the-tennis-128-no-116-ted-schroeder/

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Thanks for this Jon.

I speculated on another thread about Andy maybe being about #65.

I wonder if the ATP new #1 Medvedev will be on the list at all.

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Will be interesting to see for sure, on both those fronts. Medvedev is clearly below 3 slams and 2 or 3 slam titles seems to be the pass mark. His ELO is high, though, so quite possibly he will get on.

Im waiting to see some of my faves when I was young, Borg, Mac, connors, Vilas , Becker, edberg et al and Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe era as well- and players from that era. So far its lots from around the war period that are getting onto the list .

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115 is Rosie Casals

www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/03/05/the-tennis-128-no-115-rosie-casals/

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At 114, we have Andrea Jaeger

www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/03/08/the-tennis-128-no-114-andrea-jaeger/

Many will remember Jaeger, one of the post Tracy Austin wonderkids; probably never volleyed in her life but broke through at age 14 into the big time.

Both her and Casals won no slams at all in singles - so this methodology of TA clearly doesnt weight massively to slam wins, more focussed on ELO and Peak ELO (which would be reflective of slam wins at some level)

Which means it will be interesting to see who else follows in this list and at the higher levels

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128. Beverly Baker Fleitz

127. Stan Wawrinka (podcast)

126. Jean Borotra

125. Li Na

124. Betty Nuthall

123. Michael Stich (podcast)

122. Ashley Cooper

121. Angela Mortimer

120. Kei Nishikori

119. Adrian Quist

118. Bill Johnston

117. Darlene Hard

116. Ted Schroeder

115. Rosie Casals

114. Andrea Jaeger


6 US, 2 Aussie and 2 Brits, a Swiss, French, German, Chinese and Japanese so far on the list

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JonH comes home wrote:

At 114, we have Andrea Jaeger

www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/03/08/the-tennis-128-no-114-andrea-jaeger/

Many will remember Jaeger, one of the post Tracy Austin wonderkids; probably never volleyed in her life but broke through at age 14 into the big time.

Both her and Casals won no slams at all in singles - so this methodology of TA clearly doesnt weight massively to slam wins, more focussed on ELO and Peak ELO (which would be reflective of slam wins at some level)

Which means it will be interesting to see who else follows in this list and at the higher levels


 I can't understand how you could rank Kei N ahead of three slam Stan. Stan's highest ranking was also higher than Kei's too. Seems very harsh of Mr Wawrinka. 



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LordBrownof wrote:
JonH comes home wrote:

At 114, we have Andrea Jaeger

www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2022/03/08/the-tennis-128-no-114-andrea-jaeger/

Many will remember Jaeger, one of the post Tracy Austin wonderkids; probably never volleyed in her life but broke through at age 14 into the big time.

Both her and Casals won no slams at all in singles - so this methodology of TA clearly doesnt weight massively to slam wins, more focussed on ELO and Peak ELO (which would be reflective of slam wins at some level)

Which means it will be interesting to see who else follows in this list and at the higher levels


 I can't understand how you could rank Kei N ahead of three slam Stan. Stan's highest ranking was also higher than Kei's too. Seems very harsh of Mr Wawrinka. 


 Well, probably worthy of comment to Jeff Sackmann who has created the algorithm. I am sure there will be many weird rankings as we get even higher up the list!! 



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Probably he would explain it by his view of Kei's Peak ELO rating versus that of Stan - Stan even has a 7-4 H2H performance against Kei.

Sackman's algorithm purports to throw in peak ELO i.e the highest ever performance level the player reached; their high 5 year ELO (ie the best 5 year period of their career) and career average ELO.

Specifically, he wrote:

The ranking is primarily based on an algorithm that incorporates three things: a players peak, their five best years, and their entire career. Those components are measured by Elo ratings. I only considered seasons above a fairly high threshold, and there are no negative values for bad seasons. Im interested in how good players were at their best, not whether they stuck around for too many seasons at the end.

The ranking is almost entirely based on singles performance. Doubles used to be more prominent than it is now, but greatness has always been defined primarily as excellence on the singles court. In a few instances, Ive broken ties in favor of the better doubles player. Ive also moved a (very small) handful of players toward the top of the list because of their off-court contributions to the game.

So, looking at that, he is implying Kei was better than Stan at his best, and thus gets the nod for a higher rating

Stan Wawrinka [SUI]
Born: 28 March 1985
Career: 2005-present (17+ seasons)
Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Peak ATP rank: 3 (27 January 2014)
Peak Elo rating: 2,146
Major singles titles: 3
Total ATP singles titles: 16

Kei Nishikori [JPN]
Born: 29 December 1989
Career: 2007-present (15+ seasons)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Peak ATP rank: 4 (2 March 2015)
Peak Elo rating: 2,210 (3rd place, 2016)
Major singles titles: 0 (2014 US Open finalist)
Total ATP singles titles: 12

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Ver interesting. Of course the ELO itself is a made up algorithm, however logical the creator may think their equations are. So we are then kind of having an algorithm based on a weighted use of that ELO algorithm over different periods.

I do like that there are no direct negatives for "bad seasons" due to say injury issues or just playing on well past players' best.years, although that may still allow some years into consideration just above the threshold that are partly due to such issues.

I'd prefer that no players were moved because of a judgement about their "off-court contributions" to the game and that it came down to the algorithms regarding their on -court performances.



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indiana wrote:

Ver interesting. Of course the ELO itself is a made up algorithm, however logical the creator may think their equations are. So we are then kind of having an algorithm based on a weighted use of that ELO algorithm over different periods.

I do like that there are no direct negatives for "bad seasons" due to say injury issues or just playing on well past players' best.years, although that may still allow some years into consideration just above the threshold that are partly due to such issues.

I'd prefer that no players were moved because of a judgement about their "off-court contributions" to the game and that it came down to the algorithms regarding their on -court performances.


 I think the ties are literally where the points on his algorithm are the same- ELO generates some very close scores apparently , to the extent that 10 points in 2200 is actually quite large. So I suspect doubles and off court stuff are literally uses in those tie conditions, which seems reasonable 



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JonH comes home wrote:
indiana wrote:

Ver interesting. Of course the ELO itself is a made up algorithm, however logical the creator may think their equations are. So we are then kind of having an algorithm based on a weighted use of that ELO algorithm over different periods.

I do like that there are no direct negatives for "bad seasons" due to say injury issues or just playing on well past players' best.years, although that may still allow some years into consideration just above the threshold that are partly due to such issues.

I'd prefer that no players were moved because of a judgement about their "off-court contributions" to the game and that it came down to the algorithms regarding their on -court performances.


 I think the ties are literally where the points on his algorithm are the same- ELO generates some very close scores apparently , to the extent that 10 points in 2200 is actually quite large. So I suspect doubles and off court stuff are literally uses in those tie conditions, which seems reasonable 


 Maybe but I picked up the off-the court consideration to be rather more than some tiebreaker but more a handful of players were moved up. Whereas just doubles was specifically mentioned for breaking ties.

"Off-court contribution" is rather in the eye of the beholder ( I wonder if some sort of formula is involved ) and some are more out there than others about what they are doing. I wonder if we will see who has been moved and  by how much.



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"Off-court contribution" of course also allows players that have views that the rater considers objectionable to be marked down without argument.

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christ wrote:

"Off-court contribution" of course also allows players that have views that the rater considers objectionable to be marked down without argument.


 Indeed - some names that spring to mind

Roscoe Tanner spent time in prison for fraud I believe

Bob Hewitt is in prison or was recently for under age sexual activity

Margaret Court - her views on various things related to LGBTQ members of our society are well document and abhorrent to most

Novak Djokovic - recent troubles well documented - should that count?

Alex Zverev - recent behaviour?

Boris Becker - going bankrupt and being a bit of a prat - does that count

 

Bill Tilden - spent time in prison for sex with a minor (14 year old boy according to the article I just checked) - this clearly would be illegal now as it was then, so how will the TA assessment consider that aspect - Tilden for me would almost certainly be a top 10 / 20 member of this ratings process, based on tennis alone. 

And there are probably more, does Agassi admitting to drug taking put him on a bad boys list and lose points (not to me, but I am not the judge!)



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