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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was talking with a friend of mine who happens to be a tennis coach at a medium-sized public university. We are both interested in career stats. Talk got around to Radek Stepanek and Guillermo Canas. In the discussion of who was better (Stepanek of course has not finished his career while Canas has), my friend thinks longevity of career is the most important factor in determining this. Okay, Stepanek has played longer, and his lifetime winning percentage is .566 (354-271). But in this longer career he has won only 5 titles and has not held his own (for the most part) in head to head match-ups against some of the top players. Canas had a shorter career, with the nearly same winning percentage as Stepanek, .564 (252-195). But in his shorter career relative to Stepanek, Canas won more titles (7), and produced some impressive head-to-head match-ups with good players (for example, going 3-3 lifetime against Federer; he was .500 against Federer both before and after the doping incident, so this didn't play a part either way). I acknowledged also that Canas missed two years of play because of a doping scandal for which he was later exonerated. But this absence from the game clearly kept his lifetime stats down, although some who do not believe his innocence say his career stats were inflated because of performance-enhancing drugs, although such drugs were never found. Interestingly, both players reached the same career high world ranking of 8 (Canas in 2005, Stepanek in 2006). And Canas won the lifetime h2h against Stepanek, 2-1.

I am inclined to believe that Canas was the better player, but a case could certainly be made for Stepanek. It is pretty close.
 

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I was talking with a friend of mine who happens to be a tennis coach at a medium-sized public university. We are both interested in career stats. Talk got around to Radek Stepanek and Guillermo Canas. In the discussion of who was better (Stepanek of course has not finished his career while Canas has), my friend thinks longevity of career is the most important factor in determining this. Okay, Stepanek has played longer, and his lifetime winning percentage is .566 (354-271). But in this longer career he has won only 5 titles and has not held his own (for the most part) in head to head math-ups against some of the top players. Canas had a shorter career, with the nearly same winning percentage as Stepanek, .564 (252-195). But in his shorter career relative to Stepanek, Canas won more titles (7), and produced some impressive head-to-head match-ups with good players (for example, going 3-3 lifetime against Federer; he was .500 against Federer both before and after the doping incident, so this didn't play a part either way). I acknowledged also that Canas missed two years of play because of a doping scandal for which he was later exonerated. But this absence from the game clearly kept his lifetime stats down, although some who do not believe his innocence say his career stats were inflated because of performance-enhancing drugs, although such drugs were never found. Interestingly, both players reached the same career high world ranking of 8 (Canas in 2005, Stepanek in 2006). And Canas won the lifetime h2h against Stepanek, 2-1.

I am inclined to believe that Canas was the better player, but a case could certainly be made for Stepanek. It is pretty close.
When he was at his peak he was unfairly banned as you pointed out and he also missed some of his best years due to injuries. He still managed to win more titles and had a spectacular run to win Toronto 2002, beating like four #1 players. So I go with Cañas.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cañas wasn't exonerated. He was suspended for two years and later the ban was reduced to 15 months.

ITF DECISION
I think he was exonerated. He appealed his ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and he was acquitted of deliberate performance enhancement through use of illegal substances, and his money prizes previously taken from him were restored. He claims to have taken a prescription drug which contained hydrochlorothiazide, which is itself not a performance-enhancing substance but which is known to mask others. So I think technically he was cleared of any illegalities, although his points could not be restored because he missed too much time and had to rebuild his ranking through challengers and so forth. And when he got back into action he did rebuild his ranking pretty quickly.
 

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Cañas destroyed peak fraud back to back. So the answer is there.
 

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Cañas has more impressive achievements. Steps is a more complete player (with a lot of sucess in doubles) and has a more stable and long-term career but for me it´s clear that Cañas has the edge here
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I think your career of writing serious walls of text ultimately eclipses both of theirs.
Fair enough. I should post a pic or gif of Anna Semenovich to celebrate, but there is time for that later.:drink:

Edit: How do you type the Spanish enye here? Or is it best to copy and paste from someone who has spelled Canas' name correctly?
 

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Let's see .... Hingis. Vaidasova, Kvitova ... Stepanek clearly has had his ups and down. His career is filled with great move followed by big mistake. But he certainly knows how to go out with a bang
 

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Fair enough. I should post a pic or gif of Anna Semenovich to celebrate, but there is time for that later.:drink:

Edit: How do you type the Spanish enye here? Or is it best to copy and paste from someone who has spelled Canas' name correctly?
Anna :drool:

And for your question about the letter Ñ.

I`ve got a keyboard with the "enye" or "enie", but back in the nineties we used to have the english keyboards, so if I`m not mistaken I think you can produce and ñ using Alt + 164
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Anna :drool:

And for your question about the letter Ñ.

I`ve got a keyboard with the "enye" or "enie", but back in the nineties we used to have the english keyboards, so if I`m not mistaken I think you can produce and ñ using Alt + 164
Thanks, I'll try it right now. Nope, didn't work. I'll just cut and paste from someone who has posted the name correctly. Wait, I can cut and paste the enye you posted, so now I'll try it. Cañas. Yes, it worked!
 

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Cañas was better. Unless (1) you count doubles, which I don't or (2) Stepanek comes out of nowhere to win Wimbledon next month.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cañas was better. Unless (1) you count doubles, which I don't or (2) Stepanek comes out of nowhere to win Wimbledon next month.
Yes, although it's very unlikely to happen, since he's still playing Stepanek could come out of nowhere and take a major title, which would like throw the balance of his career vis-a-vis Cañas in his favor. But the reality is very likely he won't do it.
 

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Excluding doubles and the doping incident, Canas obviously had a better career. Winning the Toronto title in 2002 alone is pretty much enough to win this comparison. Having said that, comparing Canas and Stepanek, of all players, seems a little bit bizarre to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Excluding doubles and the doping incident, Canas obviously had a better career. Winning the Toronto title in 2002 alone is pretty much enough to win this comparison. Having said that, comparing Canas and Stepanek, of all players, seems a little bit bizarre to me.
I don't think the comparison is bizarre at all. We were talking about players in general and Cañas came up. We went to the list of career won-lost percentages and found that he was ranked around 155. We then looked at other players near him, and found Stepanek. Stepanek and Cañas were a ready comparison because of their very similar lifetime winning percentage, the fact that they started pretty close to the same time, that they both achieved a high world ranking of 8, and they were pretty similar in tournaments won (Stepanek 5, Cañas 7). All this made for a pretty compelling reason to compare their careers.
 
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