The world of tennis can be a little frustrating for British fans. Even though Andy Murray has won two of the sport’s biggest titles, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, he isn’t ranked No. 1 – Novak Djokovic is.
The reason why Novak Djokovic is No. 1 is that he has more points in the ATP rankings system than Murray does. Djokovic has more points because he proceeds further in the tournaments as a whole, even though Murray is better at pulling off the big upsets.
Murray vs. Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer
Fans hate this ranking system because Murray is the player that is the most fun to watch. He’s also the only active male tennis player that the average man sitting in a pub can identify with.
And if this wasn’t confusing enough, a lot of sportswriters claim that Rafael Nadal should be ranked No. 1 because he had a better record going into the French Open. However, for fans that dislike seeing the men’s singles dominated by two players as talented as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, this isn’t entirely bad news.
Is a New Rankings System Needed?
Perhaps the real controversy is this – is a new rankings system needed in tennis? Perhaps a system of crowning a champion, as they have in boxing, is preferable. That would at least help casual fans understand the ranking system.
Yet an argument can be made that a championship is unfair to less talented players. The champion can, of course, dominate the sport and effectively shut out competitors he or she doesn’t like. Part of the advantage to the open system is that the champion cannot limit access to a title challenge and the top spot. After all, boxing has effectively been destroyed as a serious sport by egotistical champions and their corrupt promoters.
Another effective alternative would be to have more points allocated to winning the major tournaments, which would make the more famous player No. 1, yet it would be unfair to those who compete in more events.
Perhaps the real No. 1 is the player that the fans like the most. At the end of the day, it is the fans support that makes a true champion. Without a strong fan base, the points are meaningless and so are the titles.
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