We've arrived to the final article of our guest blogger Omair's series comparing the very best players of the WTA with their male counterparts. After the introductory and a general article, Omair compared:
- WTA world No.3 Maria Sharapova and ATP world No.3 Andy Murray (note: Sharapova is now No.2)
- WTA world No.2 Victoria Azarenka and ATP world No.2 Roger Federer (note: Azarenka is now No.3)
I started the series to compare the two tours, since media has grown biased towards the WTA: an ATP player playing through injury is appreciated for his commitment to tennis, but a WTA player playing through injury is criticized for poor tennis, grunting is never an issue on the ATP, while it's constantly being talked about on the WTA, questions have been raised regarding the poor quality of WTA. These and a lot of other things have been said about the WTA. Amy Fetherolf, co-founder of "The Changeover", recently wrote a piece about this biased media attitude.
As Marija said in the introduction, in this final article we'll compare Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic so let's see what the numbers are telling us. The categories highlighted in orange go in favor of Serena Williams, while I am confused about the one highlighted in blue.
Serena has been better than Djokovic in almost all the departments. Serena is far ahead of the Serb in the match winning percentage, record against the Top 4 and Top 10 players. Serena also beat two or more Top 10 players in more tournaments than the Serb.
I am a little confused about the Grand Slam record of the two players. Serena won two Grand Slams but has less wins than Djokovic, whereas Djokovic won one Grand Slam from three finals and has more wins in Grand Slams. I guess, two Slams will always be preferred against one Slam.
Let's see how the categories look when presented on a graph (darker green is Serena, lighter green is Djokovic).
Djokovic is marginally better than Williams in the tournaments where they made the finals. Serena made the finals of 64% of the tournaments she played, while Djokovic made the finals of 65% of the tournaments he played.
Djokovic also leads Williams marginally in the tournaments with pre-quarterfinal exits and the losses against non-Top 10 players.
Williams' worst lost came famously at the hands of then 111th-ranked Virgine Razzano in the first round of Roland Garros, while Djokovic's worst loss came at the hands of Sam Querrey, then ranked No.23 in the second round of Paris Masters.
Djokovic and Serena have been the epitomes of consistency on their respective tours, but if you have to pick one of them, the obvious choice will be Serena Williams considering the following factors:
- Higher match winning percentage
- Superior record against the Top 4 and Top 10 opponents
- Perecentage of tournaments won
- Victories over three or more Top 10 players in three tournaments as compared to two of Djokovic and wins over two or more Top 10 players in a tournament six times (43% of the tournaments she played), compared to Djokovic's two or more Top 10 players in a tournament
CONCLUSION AFTER THE SERIES
In the last two articles we saw that Sharapova was clearly more consistent than Murray, and Azarenka if not better than Federer was not worse than him either, and here again Williams is the clear winner in terms of consistency.
However, what we have to understand is that these are two separate tours and they don't have anything to do with each other. Downgrading one tour because of some good thing that happens on the other tour is ridiculous. It only hurts the image of tennis overall and nothing else. This is tennis we are talking about, not ATP or WTA.
I would not have done this series of articles had it not been for the negative comments coming in for WTA lately. We all need to realize that the tours have different demands and hence different levels of play.
If the trend of downgrading continues, I only see tennis suffering in the long run. It is tennis that both WTA and ATP promote. Tennis, the sport we all love, we all play, we all watch and we all enjoy. Are we willing to hurt the game we love so much or are we going to stop this and just enjoy the moment and the tennis being brought to us by the players?