Bad choice of words I agree,I more mean the most succesful in the past year at the big events.
no problem I thought it was sincere : many people think this way
it has been a huge polemics several times in the past : here are the years concerned (since the creation of the ATP rankings in 1973), when in the end of the year, the number 1 in the ATP rankings had won less slams than his followers :
- 1973 : Nastase was number 1 with one slam win, Newcombe had won 2 of them but one of them was the devaluated Australian Open ;
- 1975 : Connors was number 1 with zero slam win, Ashe, Orantes and Borg (+Newcombe in Australia) had won one (Connors had reached Wimbledon and the US Open final) ;
- 1977 : Connors was number 1 with zero slam win, Vilas had won 2 of them (defeating Connors in the US Open final -on clay- and benefitting from Borg and Connors not taking part in the French Open ; Connors had reached Wimbledon and the US Open final and won the Masters cup) ;
- 1978 : Connors was number 1 with 1 slam win, Borg had won 2 of them (Borg had won Wimbledon against Connors ; Connors had won the US Open against Borg ; Connors had not taken part in Roland-Garros which Borg had won) ;
- 1982 : McEnroe was number 1 with zero slam win, Connors had won 2 of them (McEnroe had lost to Connors in Wimbledon final and to Lendl in the US Open semifinal and in the Masters Cup final) ;
- 1989 : Lendl was number 1 with one slam win in the beginning of the year in Australia while Becker had won the last 2 slams of the year (defeating Lendl in both of those slams ; Becker had also reached the Masters final, losing to Edberg, and won the Davis cup winning all of his matches)
Not mentioning the 11 other years since 1973 (1976, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) where no player had won more than 1 slam and the year-end-number 1 was one of the slam winners but of course where there could be contestations.
And there are still debates about who was the best of the year between 1970 and 1972