Monday, 9 November 2009

Rankings Rating

The votes are in (at some point, I havent really been paying attention) and Andy Roddick's bikini model wife is the most annoying thing about him, Andre Agassi's still a tip-tip bloke according to Murray, and Serena Williams is till obnoxious, I mean a winner at the end of year Finals.
Just summing up some of the events of the past few weeks that have shaken the tennis world (so much that I havent written a blog since 28th Oct, just been too darn excited).

In actual news, Andy Murray has come back from injury and won a title in Valencia.  Shall we hail the greatness that is Murray, or possible remember he's had several weeks of rest with a hurty arm, and as a top seed he gets a bye in the first round.  That means he doesnt have to play the first round, that means he played 3 matches to win.  And won a squillion dollars probably, when you take the appearance fee into account.  I rather think the top players have it a little too easy, better schedules, better courts (with hawkeye, with big crowds, with attention and TV coverage), hotel rooms paid for, appearance fees ($10,000 just to turn up), and they dont have to play each other in the first rounds- purposefully contrived so they play qualifyers and wildcards. 
You may say they have earned these benefits by playing well enough to win enough to get their ranking high enough, and its true I suppose.  But when you consider that rankings points have to be maintained- so if you win 250 points at wimbledon 2009, you keep them until wimbledon 2010 when you have to earn the same or better or you lose them- and then possible lose a ranking place or too.  More pressure on top players to continue to win matches and keep their points... Not really.  Its quite hard to move up and down in the top 20, such a big gap between ranking points.  And dropping from 5 in the world to 6, is hardly career threatening.  However, lower down in the rankings its much easier to slip 50 places at a time, and dropping outside of the top 100 makes life much harder as you cant get into big tournaments that you may have won big points at the year before.  So you drop further. 
Top players are further insulated by the byes, as mentioned previously...How much easier it is to win a tournament when you play one less match, and you automatical get into the second round, and automatically win the ranking points for getting into the second round (and the prize money while we're on the subject). 

Well if it was J. Murray that had won, I may feel differently, but doubtful.  I am a little upset that he has dropped out of the top 100 in the doubles.  I think he's played all his tournaments for the year, so his drop of about 20 places is more to do with other people winning matches and knocking him down.  Which just goes to show how easy it is to fall out of the top 100. It wont be much of a grand slam in australia if Big J is not there next Feb.   Well in my opinion.

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