1) 5 4 3 2 1 only for Yoda - but question - does this allocation apply only to those playing TDC, or to non-TDCers as well?
2) UFTR to be tiebreaker
3) split the original points

TennisElbow wrote:

Thanks Ad. I can't be completely objective about it, but I think finishing in the top 5 in all 4 comps on TDC is an achievement that's not going to get repeated too often.

Personally I would be happy to go along with those solutions. I think winning a BIG 5 comp is the ultimate prize and therefore enough reward in itself. POTY should be someone who has excelled across a range of competitions, and the UFTR measures exactly that.

Amazing accomplishment TE!!  Huge congrats!!

Adunar wrote:

I am with you on that one Jamie. I consider you the 2017 POTY.

And you are right, we should establish the rules for good before the start of the next season.

1) i am in favor of giving full points for a tie. If both win, both should get the poins they deserve for that performance.
2) uftr ranking is a nice TB. Then maybe most number of wins among the 'BIG 5 comp' or most number of podiums.

I disagree with the logic of #1.  We are manufacturing an extra point if we do this.  In a tie, the accomplishment is not unique, so I think the points should reflect that by distributing the tied position points equally.  In a tie for second in a comp (like this year's Rey) would we then give a point to the 4th place finisher for finishing 'third'?  Mathematically, this whole method of distribution doesn't make sense to me.


(318 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Wow! Thank you!
I'm really pleased and happy!
And still surprised.  I honestly didn't think this would be possible.

Adunar wrote:

I think the most refular and complete player of the year should be the poty. UFTR is a good measure of that..

I like the sound of this! smile

I favour the averaging method.
I reason that there are 62 points to give out for POTY (26 for Yoda, 9 for each of the other four).  I think that number shouldn't change...

For resolving this tie we could look at:
Number of the Big 5 competitions won (Tono=2, TE=1)
Number of competitions in which POTY points were scored (TE=5, Tono=4)
UTFR ranking
Thoughts anyone?

If using the averaging method, then:

7 + 2 Oz
5 Dwight
3 Tenedab
2 Edu
1 + 2 TE
0 + 2 Dragan
0 + 2 Aiur

Rey (final)
5 - Tono
2 - Tenedab
2 - TE
(because Tenedab and TE tied for 2nd I added points for 2nd and 3rd and then averaged (3+1)/2 = 2)

Padme (final)
5 - Tono
3 - tenedab
1 - TE

Obi Wan (final)
5 - TE
3 - Tono
1 - dwight

Vader (final)
5 - dwight
3 - TE
1 - Tono

Adding this up, the POTY race stands at
14 - Tono (= 0+5+5+3+1)
14 - TE (= 3+2+1+5+3)
11 - dwight (= 5+0+0+1+5)
9 - Oz (= 9+0+0+0+0)
8 - tenedab (= 3+2+3+0+0)
2 - Edu, Aiur, Dragan

Adunar is correct.
It's a tie for Tono and TE.
Using the non-averaging method, TE wins by one point.

There is a good precedent for adding the points available at each position and averaging them (or distributing them equally) to the players in the tie.  It is the method used on the PGA tour when they have ties... both for points and for prize money.

So POTY is TE I believe. 
Huge congrats to TE!!!


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

I need to get down on my knees and thank Krajinovic... whoever he is...

Thanks for the congrats, guys... I got a little lucky in the end.


(2,196 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Harel Levy at the 2000 Cdn Open was a shocker for me


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Damn the curse!! I say!


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Now Cilic loses...
the horror continues.
Isner will win his first 1000 at exactly the right moment to thwart me...


(104 replies, posted in Male Players)

Agreed Milo.
And by Toni saying he wants Rafa to surpass Federer.... that invites scrutiny.
And really... could Rafa be any more scrutinized? It's not like he's hiding in the shadows.  He's one of the most recognized athletes in the world (not just tennis).  I don't think anything he would do now would make him more scrutinized than he already is.


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

The Arvis curse works it's magic... Isner beats Delpo and Nadal withdraws, clearing the path for Isner... ieieie... how is this possible?


(104 replies, posted in Male Players)

Well Sneaky, that is a very interesting theory.

It seems unlikely to me, however.  Uncle Toni said this year something like... he is confident they will catch Federer and surpass 19 slams.  This does not sound like someone who is trying to hide in the shadows.  Rather, it seems like a stated ambition to exceed Federer and be recognized as the greatest ever.
http://www.eurosport.com/tennis/toni-na … tory.shtml
This is directly at odds with the view of tanking Wimbledons.  I can't imagine why Nadal would NOT want to win Wimbledon.  He seems to have great veneration for the place.

Rather I think the answer is simply that Nadal's game is not as good on grass as it is on clay.  His results at Wimbledon are not that far out of line with his results at the hard court slams... and likely the transition from clay to grass hurts Nadal a bit and makes him more prone to losing early at Wimbledon.

Here are averages for Nadal's results at each of the slams (1=1R, 2=2R, 3=3R, 4=4R, 5=QF, 6=SF, 7=RU, 8=Win)

Nadal average result throughout career
overall = 5.52

From this I would say that Nadal thrives on clay, is middling on hard, and a little worse on grass.  I think that seems like a reasonable summation of his game, so I do not suspect a conspiracy.

BTW, overall slam performance of other notable players:

Borg 6.22
Djokovic 5.69
Federer 5.63
Nadal 5.52
Connors 5.14
Murray 5.09
Lendl 4.96
Sampras 4.90
McEnroe 4.78
Agassi 4.67
Becker 4.59
Edberg 4.37
Wilander 4.34


(104 replies, posted in Male Players)

Thanks Sneaky, for that wonderful answer/reflection on my post.
You make a very interesting point about Nadal's uneven results.  I've noticed that too.  But I've noticed it with some other players too.

Nadal was #1 in 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2017.  It's interesting that after being #1 the first time (2008) it was 2 years till he did it again, then 3 years, then 4 years.  Does this mean we can next expect to see him at #1 in 5 years (2022)? Actually, I think 2020 is more likely for reasons I'm about to describe...

I think the sequence 2, 3, 4, is probably just accidental, but it seems typical of Nadal that he peaks every 3 years or so.  He also had a peak year in 2005, when he won 4 masters titles and his first GS.  So on average, he's peaking every 3 years or so.

I noticed the same pattern with John McEnroe.  He first hit the top 10 in 1978.  Then in 1981 he won 2 slams and finished yearend #1 for the first time.  His next big peak was 1984.  Always 3 years apart.

Goran Ivanisevic seemed to have a similar pattern with Wimbledon finals.  He made the final in 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2001, averaging a 3 year gap each time.

Because this pattern is not unique to Nadal, my guess is that some players psychology is such that it's natural for them to peak about every 3 years.  They have a peak year, and then a natural let down afterward.  Then they have a rebuilding year, before having another peak year.  I'm just guessing, of course.

I doubt that it is related to PEDs, or to any weird form of cheating.  I think it's probably a natural psychological cycle for them.  But of course, I do not know this for sure.

Regardless, it's an interesting pattern.


(104 replies, posted in Male Players)

Wow Arvis!  What a cool sentiment!


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

So Isner takes out Dimitrov... my nightmare is unfolding...!

With the 2 extra points for a Yoda cup win (as per Adunar, above), I believe POTY standings are currently:
TE 14
Tono 13
Dwight 11
Oz 9
Tenedab 8

But it is going to be a photo-finish.  If I can hang to Vader, it will all come down to Obi Wan (men's brackets). Mathematically, TE, Tono, and I all still have a chance, but the advantage is with TE who has a 15 point overall lead over Tono.

TennisElbow wrote:

I agree to the need for a POTY thread with scoring spelled out clearly.
For example, in cases of a draw, do we agree with dwightcharles's method above? If there were joint winners of a tournament, they would get 4 each? Joint 3rd .5 each? What do we think? We need to decide to avoid contested results in close seasons like this one.

We need to get this sorted, because it is likely to make a difference to the final tally.  And better to do it now, while there's still uncertainty as to what the final results are.

My vote is that in case of a tie in a POTY points category, the points be divided as described by myself and TE.

Please weigh in...


(170 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

So it looks like this is coming down to Isner vs Cilic.
If Isner wins Paris, then Tennis Elbow will win Vader unless Cilic makes the final.
I believe in any other scenario, I will hang on to win Vader.


(104 replies, posted in Male Players)

I'm heartened by your apology.  Thank-you for taking the high road.  You are restoring my trust in you.

In answer to your question, I actually do not believe the tours are clean of PEDs.  However I do think 'illegal' PEDs are probably less common than many believe.  Athletes try to give themselves every advantage.  Is training more than your competitors unfair?  What about the food they eat?  What if all were forced to eat the same diet?  Athletes are constantly looking for techniques in training, diet, breathing, you name it... to give them a leg up on the competition.

And that includes performance enhancing drugs.  Maybe some take aspirin to help blood flow.  Maybe some take sugar bills or power bars to give them extra energy during a match.  Maybe some eat pomegranates because they believe the anti-oxidants help them recover faster. 

My point is this, the line between drug and food is almost indistinguishable.  But there IS a line between what is allowed and what is not.  Athletes rely on WADA to tell them what substances they can take and what they cannot.  So if they take performance-enhancers that are legal, the world at large is ok with that because that's what we've collectively agreed on.

Maria Sharapova was taking Meldonium while it was legal to do so.  It seems likely she was doing it for performance enhancing reasons.  And that was perfectly ok.  It became not ok when the rules changed and she continued taking it.

We simply cannot (imo) say that athletes are wrong to take performance enhancers or to engage in performance enhancing activity.  We can however say they are wrong to take banned performance enhancers.

There is no evidence that Nadal has taken illegal performance enhancers.

Also it does not seem unreasonable to me that Nadal might play the best defensive game of all time (although I would argue he mixes in a lot of offense too).  Someone has to be the best (logically, by definition) at that style of play, and it could well be Nadal.  He brings a lot of uniqueness to what he does.  His topspin is apparently more than everyone else's (so the commentators say, citing rpm's of his balls), his speed is also a great strength, and his amazing accuracy hitting the corners and lines betells a lot of talent and hand-eye coordination.  And then look at his body.  The guy is physical specimen of muscle and sturdiness.  It does not surprise me that he can pull off the athletic feats he does.

Nadal's uniqueness does not seem fishy to me.  It doesn't seem any fishier than Federer's unique talent.  Uniqueness is not a valid argument to prove illegal PED use.

early excerpt from my yearend writeup:

Muguruza gave us quite a scare with her extended sophomore slump.  After claiming victory at last year’s French Open, she did not make another final until Wimbledon this year.  But the wait was worth it and she delivered a second slam.  It was her second final at the big W, having lost to Serena in 2015.

Many observers seemed ready to anoint Muguruza the new #1 and felt that victory at the US Open would cement her status.  Although she disappointed the hopeful, at the end of the year she still looks like the de facto #1, despite a computer ranking of #2.  Even the WTA awarded her its Player of the Year award.

So what can we realistically expect from her in 2018?  Well, establishing a strong position as the dominant #1 is not what I expect.  For one thing, Serena Williams may be back in the mix.  And secondly, nothing in Muguruza’s history suggests that she is going to dominate.  She’s only won 5 titles total in her career, and this is the first year in which she’s won as many as two.  This is not the resume of a dominant #1.

However it might be reasonable to think she could win another slam next year.  She’s only once made the quarters of a hard court slam (this year’s Aus), so victory at the Australian or US Open is probably unlikely.  But she’s been considerably more successful at the French and Wimbledon, so victory at either or both of those tournaments might be a reasonable expectation.  Probably not both, however, since she seems to space out her wins. 

If Serena makes a slow return or no return to the tour, I could see Muguruza having another year as default #1, since none of the other established players have been making a strong case for being considered the best.  Those established players would include the likes of Halep, Pliskova, Wozniacki, Kvitova, Venus Williams, Radwanska, Konta, Kuznetsova, and Kerber. 

On the other hand, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and of course Serena, could storm back and make strong plays for the top spot.  The other, and perhaps more exciting, threat for #1 could come from a young up and comer like Ostapenko, Kasatkina, an injury-free Belinda Bencic, or maybe Barty, or someone slightly older like Svitolina, Keys, Stephens, or Garcia.  If we have another year of parity, Muguruza could again be #1.  I would like to see her make a stronger, more consistent campaign for the top, but she will do what she can do.