Top 6 players -- 5-year episodes in comparison since 1970 [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Top 6 players -- 5-year episodes in comparison since 1970

Henry Kaspar
09-08-2008, 09:04 PM
Here is a little statistic that may be helpful in comparing "eras". I divided time into 5-year episodes from 1970. I then allocated 4 points to a grand slam win, 3 to a final, 2 to a SF, and 1 to a QF, and summed the scores up over time. Here are the top 6 in terms of points for each espisode (obviously a broad brush)

To me the current episode seems one of the stronger ones, although the strongest by far is 1985-89.

2005-08 (episode obviously not complete)

1 Federer 54 (assuming he wins tonight, otherwise 53)
2 Nadal 32
3 Djokovic 16
4 Roddick 13
5 Davydenko 12
6 Hewitt 9

2000-04

1 Agassi 28
2 Hewitt 19
3 Federer 18
4 Ferrero 17
5 Sampras 16
5 Safin 16

1995-99

1 Sampras 37
2 Agassi 25
3 Chang 16
3 Kafelnikov 16
5 Rafter 12
6 Becker 10
6 Pioline 10

1990-94

1 Edberg 32
1 Courier 32
3 Sampras 31
4 Becker 22
5 Agassi 20
6 Stich 15

1985-89

1 Lendl 50
2 Wilander 31
3 Edberg 28
4 Becker 26
5 Mecir 13
5 Connors 13

1980-84

1 McEnroe 39
2 Connors 32
3 Lendl 25
4 Borg 21
5 Wilander 19
6 Kriek 15

1975-79

1 Borg 39
2 Connors 33
2 Vilas 33
4 Gerulaitis 16
5 Tanner 13
6 Ramirez 11

1970-74

1 Rosewall 25
2 Newcombe 24
3 Kodes 23
4 Smith 20
5 Nastase 16
5 Ashe 16

lorenz
09-08-2008, 09:18 PM
Thanks !! Very interesting

LuckyAC
09-08-2008, 10:49 PM
It's new to me that the gap between the top 5 players and the rest has anything do with "strength" of an era. I mean, I could see a possible justification, but I could also see a justification for the exact opposite.

Henry Kaspar
09-08-2008, 11:10 PM
It's new to me that the gap between the top 5 players and the rest has anything do with "strength" of an era. I mean, I could see a possible justification, but I could also see a justification for the exact opposite.

Not sure what you are talking about.

LuckyAC
09-08-2008, 11:14 PM
Not sure what you are talking about.
Well, maybe I don't know what you are trying to say, but I thought you were saying there is a connection between those numbers you listed and how strong the era is.

NoFroz
09-08-2008, 11:15 PM
Good job mate, but the only thing you can prove with this is weather there were dominant players or not in that period of time.
Some could say that it is easier to be dominant in a poor era, so the current would be worst than the previous.

Merton
09-08-2008, 11:18 PM
This doesn't compare eras, just shows how consistent top players are at reaching the late stages of slams.

Henry Kaspar
09-08-2008, 11:20 PM
This doesn't compare eras, just shows how consistent top players are at reaching the late stages of slams.

Exactly. It's meant to help compare eras, not compare them itself.

Henry Kaspar
09-08-2008, 11:25 PM
Well, maybe I don't know what you are trying to say, but I thought you were saying there is a connection between those numbers you listed and how strong the era is.

Not really, the idea is just to figure out in some systematic way who the dominant players were, and how they faired relative to one another. I'd take prime Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Roddick over old Agassi-Hewitt-young Federer-Ferrero, for example. But not over Lendl-Wilander-Edberg-Becker. The depth and intensity of the 85-89 episode was quite something.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 01:26 PM
Not really, the idea is just to figure out in some systematic way who the dominant players were, and how they faired relative to one another. I'd take prime Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Roddick over old Agassi-Hewitt-young Federer-Ferrero, for example. But not over Lendl-Wilander-Edberg-Becker. The depth and intensity of the 85-89 episode was quite something.

Well, maybe I don't know what you are trying to say, but I thought you were saying there is a connection between those numbers you listed and how strong the era is.

Here is an attempt to add some interpretation.

What could make a great era? Three things come to my mind:

-- An outstanding champion
-- A great rivalry
-- Great depth of competition.

Now say a dominant champion is one who made at least 40 points over a 5-year period -- reduce this a little to, say, 35 before the mid-80s, when many players skipped the Aussie Open. Episodes that qualify are 05-08 (Federer), 85-89 (Lendl), 80-84 (McEnroe), and 75-79 (Borg). 95-99 (Sampras) is close.

Say a great rivalry is an episode where at least two players scored 30 points or more. Episodes that qualify are 05-08 (Federer, Nadal), 90-94 (three-way rivalry of Edberg, Courier, Sampras), 85-89 (Lendl, Wilander), 80-84 (McEnroe, Connors), 75-79 (three-way rivalry of Borg, Connors, Vilas). 95-99 (Sampras, Agassi) is close.

Finally, say great depth existed when at least four players scored more than 20 points. Periods that qualify are 90-94 (5 players: Edberg, Courier, Sampras, Becker, Agassi), 85-89 (Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker), 80-84 (McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Borg), and 70-74 (Rosewall, Newcombe, Kodes, Smith). 05-09 could still make it but it's unlikely. 75-79 could be added in as again scores are lower because of the poorly attended Aussie Open.

-- two episodes score as "great" on all three scores: 80-84 and 85-89. These years had it all.
- three episodes score as "great" on two scores: 05-08, 90-94, 75-79.
- one episode scores as "great" on one score: 70-74
- and two episodes score as "great" on no score whatsoever: 00-04 and 95-99. 95-99 is closer to "greatness" on most scores than 00-04, however.

If so, tennis is in a new exciting age after a period of relative draught -- and this pretty much how I see it.

MatchFederer
09-09-2008, 01:28 PM
Agreed. Affirmative. Tennis is entering a golden era.

CyBorg
09-09-2008, 05:07 PM
Meh. Considering the Australian wasn't played by the top players until between the early 70s and 1983 this doesn't offer any generalizable or in any way helpful information.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:15 PM
Meh. Considering the Australian wasn't played by the top players until between the early 70s and 1983 this doesn't offer any generalizable or in any way helpful information.

How is that?

CyBorg
09-09-2008, 05:19 PM
How is that?

The numbers are off for reasons already explained. Hence comparisons between eras are flawed. The fragments are also arbitrary (eg. begin in 1970 - why not 1971?)

What would be a lot more interesting is to compare the best five years of some of the greatest players ever, but doing that by assigning quantitative value for grand slam results also wouldn't work.

CyBorg
09-09-2008, 05:22 PM
There was this one fellow on another board who calculated ELO rankings (normally used for chess) for the greatest players ever and had some interesting results. Now that was useful.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:22 PM
The numbers are off for reasons already explained. Hence comparisons between eras are flawed. The fragments are also arbitrary (eg. begin in 1970 - why not 1971?)

Nothing is explained. You just the thresholds a little downwards for the years when the Aussie Open were poorly attended, and maybe have in mind that for players like Kriek the score is inflated, but that's it. Issue resolved.

stebs
09-09-2008, 05:23 PM
Meh. Considering the Australian wasn't played by the top players until between the early 70s and 1983 this doesn't offer...in any way helpful information.

That's just rubbish really isn't it. The information can be used to determine several things and is helpful in doing so.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:23 PM
There was this one fellow on another board who calculated ELO rankings (normally used for chess) for the greatest players ever and had some interesting results. Now that was useful.


Link? Sounds interesting.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:27 PM
That's just rubbish really isn't it. The information can be used to determine several things and is helpful in doing so.

Well, some folks believe they appear knowledgeable or cool when they are negative on everything. And they are quite amassed in this place. Last time I came across such a bunching was in high school, grade 6-8. Puberty is tough.

stebs
09-09-2008, 05:30 PM
Well, some folks believe they appear knowledgeable or cool when they are negative on everything. And they are quite amassed in this place.

Well CyBorg says your argument is useless because it is flawed. It doesn't logically follow that something flawed is therefore totally useless. Of course the fact that the 5 year spans are interchangeable means it is suseptible to bias and it is tough to define an 'era' but for sure there are some interesting things to see with your 'episodes'.

CyBorg
09-09-2008, 05:32 PM
Well CyBorg says your argument is useless because it is flawed. It doesn't logically follow that something flawed is therefore totally useless. Of course the fact that the 5 year spans are interchangeable means it is suseptible to bias and it is tough to define an 'era' but for sure there are some interesting things to see with your 'episodes'.

I said that it was flawed and arbitrary, which it is. Calling this flawed was generous, I think.

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:33 PM
Well CyBorg says your argument is useless because it is flawed. It doesn't logically follow that something flawed is therefore totally useless. Of course the fact that the 5 year spans are interchangeable means it is suseptible to bias and it is tough to define an 'era' but for sure there are some interesting things to see with your 'episodes'.

Agreed.

My episodes mean to capture of course what is implied when people speak of "late seventies" or "early nineties".

CyBorg
09-09-2008, 05:35 PM
From February, 2008. Open era only.

By a fellow named Tim (or 'Wuornos')

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=178992

Men's ELO Rankings (I don't know if ATP or ITF information was used)

1 Roger Federer 2776
2 Ivan Lendl 2769
3 Rod Laver 2763
4 Pete Sampras 2749
5 Björn Borg 2748
6 Mats Wilander 2739
7 John McEnroe 2736
8 Stefan Edberg 2731
9 Boris Becker 2725
10 Jim Courier 2719
11 Ken Rosewall 2706
12 Jimmy Connors 2703
13 Arthur Ashe 2691
14 Andre Agassi 2687
15 Tony Roche 2681
16 Rafael Nadal 2678
17 John Newcombe 2673
18 Novak Đoković 2670
19 Guillermo Vilas 2665
20 Stan Smith 2662
21 Jan Kodeš 2660
22 Lleyton Hewitt 2658
23 Vitas Gerulaitis 2658
24 Andy Roddick 2656
25 Pat Cash 2654
26 Michael Chang 2652
27 Patrick Rafter 2651
28 Ilie Năstase 2650
29 Miloslav Mečíř 2649
30 Andrés Gimeno 2637
31 Todd Martin 2634
32 Yevgeny Kafelnikov 2633
33 Marat Safin 2633
34 Juan Carlos Ferrero 2632
35 Henri Leconte 2630
36 Tom Okker 2630
37 Roscoe Tanner 2625
38 Michael Stich 2625
39 Nikolay Davydenko 2621
40 Goran Ivanišević 2619
41 David Nalbandian 2617
42 Johan Kriek 2615
43 Manuel Orantes 2614
44 Carlos Moyà 2613
45 Richard Krajicek 2613
46 Kevin Curren 2611
47 Sergi Bruguera 2607
48 Alex Metreveli 2606
49 Cédric Pioline 2604
50 Clark Graebner 2603
51 Yannick Noah 2603
52 Gustavo Kuerten 2601

Henry Kaspar
09-09-2008, 05:37 PM
From February, 2008. Open era only.

By a fellow named Tim (or 'Wuornos')

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=178992

Men's ELO Rankings (I don't know if ATP or ITF information was used)

1 Roger Federer 2776
2 Ivan Lendl 2769
3 Rod Laver 2763
4 Pete Sampras 2749
5 Björn Borg 2748
6 Mats Wilander 2739
7 John McEnroe 2736
8 Stefan Edberg 2731
9 Boris Becker 2725
10 Jim Courier 2719
11 Ken Rosewall 2706
12 Jimmy Connors 2703
13 Arthur Ashe 2691
14 Andre Agassi 2687
15 Tony Roche 2681
16 Rafael Nadal 2678
17 John Newcombe 2673
18 Novak Đoković 2670
19 Guillermo Vilas 2665
20 Stan Smith 2662
21 Jan Kodeš 2660
22 Lleyton Hewitt 2658
23 Vitas Gerulaitis 2658
24 Andy Roddick 2656
25 Pat Cash 2654
26 Michael Chang 2652
27 Patrick Rafter 2651
28 Ilie Năstase 2650
29 Miloslav Mečíř 2649
30 Andrés Gimeno 2637
31 Todd Martin 2634
32 Yevgeny Kafelnikov 2633
33 Marat Safin 2633
34 Juan Carlos Ferrero 2632
35 Henri Leconte 2630
36 Tom Okker 2630
37 Roscoe Tanner 2625
38 Michael Stich 2625
39 Nikolay Davydenko 2621
40 Goran Ivanišević 2619
41 David Nalbandian 2617
42 Johan Kriek 2615
43 Manuel Orantes 2614
44 Carlos Moyà 2613
45 Richard Krajicek 2613
46 Kevin Curren 2611
47 Sergi Bruguera 2607
48 Alex Metreveli 2606
49 Cédric Pioline 2604
50 Clark Graebner 2603
51 Yannick Noah 2603
52 Gustavo Kuerten 2601

Nice.

Merton
09-09-2008, 09:51 PM
There was this one fellow on another board who calculated ELO rankings (normally used for chess) for the greatest players ever and had some interesting results. Now that was useful.

That is nice for showing cumulative skill, as past results never drop. Now that I think of it, it might be a better way to ensure entry to people coming back from injuries, relative to the protected ranking system. But that is a topic for a different thread.