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Old 08-03-2002, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default E for Effort (Slams and Masters)

From www.tennisone.com (Bob Larson)


E for Effort
When Andre Agassi bailed out of the Canadian Open after winning Los Angeles, our first response was, "Not this again." After all, Agassi bailed out of Hamburg after winning Rome. He also skipped Monte Carlo (thought that was pretty much expected).

But every gripe contains the germ of an idea. The Masters Series are supposed to be "required" events -- you play or you take a goose egg on your ranking.

So how well is it working? Are people really turning out for these things? We thought we'd check.

We decided to look at Required Event participation over the past two and a half years (since the start of 2000). This has its complications, of course. Not every player is eligible for every Masters Series. Guillermo Canas and Andy Roddick, for instance, missed several last year even after they got their rankings up, because they raised their rankings too late. So we decided to look at the players who were ranked high at the end of the past three years. We wound up with the criterion that players must have been Top 40 at the end of 2001, and Top 40 at the end of at least one of the previous two years, and Top 50 in both. These players are eligible to play all Masters Series, or nearly. There are 27 such players (one of whom, Patrick Rafter, hardly counts in what follows, since he's retired); we threw in a few "near misses" just for fun:


Player .........2001 .2000 .1999
Agassi ........... 3 ... 6 ... 1
Arazi ........... 25 ...30 ...36
Clement ......... 17 ...18 ...56
Corretja .........16 ... 8 ...26
Costa ........... 40 ...26 ...18
El Aynaoui .......38 ...25 ...34
Enqvist ......... 24 ... 9 ... 4
Escude ...........27 ...48 ...37
Federer ......... 13 ...29 ...64
Ferrero ...........5 ...12 ...43
Gambill ......... 21 ...33 ...58
Grosjean ......... 6 ...19 ...27
Haas ............. 8 ...23 ...11
Henman ........... 9 ...10 ...12
Hewitt ........... 1 ... 7 ...22
Hrbaty ...........36 ...17 ...21
Johansson ....... 18 ...39 ...40
Kafelnikov ....... 4 ... 5 ... 2
Kuerten ...........2 ... 1 ... 5
Lapentti .........23 ...24 ... 8
Moya .............19 ...41 ...24
Pavel ........... 28 ...27 ...42
Rafter ........... 7 ...15 ...16
Rios .............39 ...37 ... 9
Rusedski .........31 ...69 ...14
Safin ........... 11 ... 2 ...25
Sampras ......... 10 ... 3 ... 3
Santoro ......... 22 ...31 ...33
Schalken .........26 ...22 ...45

From there, we start counting what they've done. The following table shows how many Grand Slams and Masters Series each of our 29 players played in 2000, 2001, and 2002:


Player . GS/00 MS/00 GS/01 MS/01 GS/02 MS/02
Agassi ..... 4 ... 6 ... 4 ... 7 ... 2 ... 3
Arazi .......4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 4
Clement .....4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Corretja ... 3 ... 8 ... 2 ... 7 ... 2 ... 5
Costa .......3 ... 8 ... 2 ... 9 ... 2 ... 6
El Aynaoui . 4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 4 ... 3 ... 6
Enqvist .....4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Escude ..... 3 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 4
Federer .....4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 7 ... 3 ... 6
Ferrero .....3 ... 9 ... 4 ... 9 ... 2 ... 6
Gambill .....4 ... 5 ... 4 ... 8 ... 3 ... 4
Grosjean ... 4 ... 9 ... 4 ... 7 ... 2 ... 6
Haas ....... 4 ... 7 ... 4 ... 9 ... 2 ... 6
Henman ..... 4 ... 9 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Hewitt ..... 4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Hrbaty ..... 4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 4
Johansson ...4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Kafelnikov . 4 ... 9 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Kuerten .....4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 9 ... 2 ... 3
Lapentti ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Moya ....... 3 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 2 ... 6
Pavel .......3 ... 7 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Rafter ..... 3 ... 7 ... 4 ... 4 ... 0 ... 0
Rios ....... 2 ... 7 ... 3 ... 6 ... 1 ... 4
Rusedski ... 3 ... 6 ... 4 ... 9 ... 2 ... 4
Safin .......4 ... 9 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Sampras .....4 ... 5 ... 4 ... 6 ... 3 ... 5
Santoro .....4 ... 9 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6
Schalken ... 4 ... 8 ... 4 ... 9 ... 3 ... 6

From this, we can determine exactly how many Required Events each player has played over the past two and a half years (from the 2000 Australian Open to the 2002 Canadian Open):


Player .......Events
Henman ...........35
Kafelnikov .......35
Safin ........... 35
Santoro ......... 35
Clement ......... 34
Enqvist ......... 34
Hewitt ...........34
Johansson ....... 34
Lapentti .........34
Schalken .........34
Ferrero ......... 33
Arazi ........... 32
Federer ......... 32
Grosjean .........32
Haas .............32
Hrbaty ...........32
Moya .............32
Pavel ........... 32
Escude ...........31
Costa ........... 30
Kuerten ......... 30
El Aynaoui .......29
Gambill ......... 28
Rusedski .........28
Corretja .........27
Sampras ......... 27
Agassi ...........26
Rios .............23
Rafter ...........18

There is a certain temptation to call this "willingness to go along with the ATP." That's not really fair -- Safin, for instance, comes out at the top of the list to spite the ATP; he played every Masters Series last year, even when he wasn't healthy, just to force the ATP to pay him. But it's noteworthy that, other than the oft-injured and now-retired Patrick Rafter, the three bottom names on the list are Rios, Agassi, and Sampras.

We can take another twist on this: Let's look at who made the fewest Masters Series appearances, ignoring Slams:


Player ....... Events
Enqvist ...........24
Ferrero ...........24
Henman ........... 24
Kafelnikov ....... 24
Lapentti ......... 24
Safin .............24
Santoro ...........24
Clement ...........23
Costa .............23
Hewitt ........... 23
Johansson .........23
Moya ............. 23
Schalken ......... 23
Grosjean ......... 22
Haas ............. 22
Pavel .............22
Arazi .............21
Escude ........... 21
Federer ...........21
Hrbaty ........... 21
Kuerten ...........21
Corretja ......... 20
Rusedski ......... 19
El Aynaoui ....... 18
Gambill ...........17
Rios ............. 17
Agassi ........... 16
Sampras ...........16
Rafter ........... 11

Ironic, isn't it, that the players the ATP advertises most are the two who play the least at the ATP's biggest events....
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Old 08-03-2002, 06:01 PM   #2
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Ironic sure, but not surprising seeing as they aren't exactly ranked number one and two.
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Old 08-03-2002, 06:39 PM   #3
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Also, in Andre's defence (and Pete's I guess): he is old. His body doesn't recuperate as quickly as it used to and there is no way he was going to play Toronto after winning LA and right before Cincinnati. He just can't play that well for three weeks in a row like some young guns can. And it's not like this is something new when not playing Masters events is concerned. He regularly skipped MS on clay even when still a young pup. Hell, he didn't play in the Australian Open until he was 25 years old! He also skipped Wimbledon more than once. I don't see what all the fuss is about.
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Old 08-03-2002, 07:20 PM   #4
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I think that they are trying to suggest that this whole required event thing is stupid.

I totaly disagree however, as bringing together the top 50 in the world 9 times a year, outside of the slams is awesome - it creates more matchups between top players, and makes it so that top players cant' get away with playing teir 8's in order to keep a decent ranking.

They have to play the top players - you pay to see a maters series and you can see Safin, Kafel, Pete, Hewitt etc etc - its amazing, all the best in the world in one place.

I mean look who Canas has had to beat this week - FOUR top ten players just to get to the final - its how it should be..

A shame the women dont do the same.
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Old 08-03-2002, 07:24 PM   #5
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what i wanna know is how does Enqvist manage to play all those Masters events ???
he is always crocked

he missed start of 2001 season but managed to get fit just in time for Indian Wells
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Old 08-03-2002, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by A Rush
Also, in Andre's defence (and Pete's I guess): he is old. His body doesn't recuperate as quickly as it used to and there is no way he was going to play Toronto after winning LA and right before Cincinnati. He just can't play that well for three weeks in a row like some young guns can. And it's not like this is something new when not playing Masters events is concerned. He regularly skipped MS on clay even when still a young pup. Hell, he didn't play in the Australian Open until he was 25 years old! He also skipped Wimbledon more than once. I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Then how do you explain Yevgeny Kafelnikov? Disregarding the fact that he plays everything he can. He is also one of the oldest players on tour, as is the Vowel Man (Younes El Aynaoui), and both were at the top of those lists.
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Old 08-03-2002, 10:18 PM   #7
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Yevgeny is a couple years younger than Pete, and plays his strokes such that he has never been prone to much injury.

Younes hasn't spent as many years playing top notch tennis as the others, he floated a long time.
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Old 08-03-2002, 10:19 PM   #8
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Younes has been injured A LOT, missed alot of years due to inactivity.
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Old 08-03-2002, 10:20 PM   #9
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But how many does Andre win when he does play?

I'm sure thats the way he looks at it.

How many have Kafelnikov, Henman, Santoro won? Safin is an anomaly on list playing when injured for money.
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Old 08-03-2002, 10:38 PM   #10
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Agassi and Sampras re getting old. Andre is in touch with this (Pete is in denial i believe) and he plays the schedule that his body can handle. i have no problems with that. and i don't agree that the ATP advertises them more than the others. didn't Bobby Larson hear about the New Balls Please campaign?

thanks Egg. another tennisone.com fan i see...
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Old 08-04-2002, 12:21 PM   #11
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Hmmmm... Not that very interesting, i think most of the real ATP fans knew this, but its true, the way Andre's looking at it is how much he wins (86% of his matches)
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Old 08-04-2002, 07:40 PM   #12
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Certainly the ATP focus on the new Balls please.
It is the t'ments themselves that advertise Sampras & Agassi as they know they have the spectator pulling power.
Note the ones who have played them all are Henman, Kafelnikov, Safin, Santoro & Schalken.
Henman has obviously stayed fit & as someone said Safin made sure he played every MS to make sure he got the full bonus at the end of the year. And as for Kafelnikov, everyone knows that although a few years ago he said he found it difficult to motivate himself sometimes as he has enough money, he is known to play as many t'ments as possible just for this reason & of course none of us know how much appearance money he is getting (not from the MS naturally) from the smaller t'ments.
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