Monday, July 30, 2007

On the Road to Rhode Island

So how about that Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken?

The Hit Machine and the Iron Man both got inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend, which with their stats, was as big a no-brainer as one could imagine. This follows on the heels of our sport's no-brainer inductees: Sampras and Sanchez-Vicario. However, looking at the current rankings are there any other no-brainers (of course, recent retirees Agassi and Clijsters will go) that will make it into the Hall in Newport? Here's what I came up with from both the ATP and WTA rankings.

From the men's side:
Roger Federer: Duh.
Rafael Nadal: See above.
Andy Roddick: Number 1, a Slam (so far), three runner-up finishes in Majors (so far) and titles on every surface.
Lleyton Hewitt: It seems so far ago now and kind of hard to believe, but he was actually a pretty dominant number 1 for a couple of years.
Marat Safin: Yes, the headcase goes. Two Slams, finalist in two others and a number 1 ranking, but man, what could have been.
Carlos Moya: Number 1, a Slam, a runner-up and winning in Umag this past weekend only helps the cause as he racks up the titles.
Bob and Mike Bryan: Dominance in doubles along the line of Federer. But not to knock them by any means, those guys should have way more Slams than they do now.

For the women, here's who:
Venus and Serena Williams: Double duh.
Justine Henin: For sure. I'm a big fan of career Slams, so I hope she gets her Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova: Yes; number 1 for a stretch and a couple of Slams.
Amelie Mauresmo: The same as above.
Lindsay Davenport: Yeah, she's in. Ages ago, my old doubles partner/tennis-talking buddy and I used to always pose this question to each other: Who's tennis career would you rather have? And one I asked him after she won the U.S. Open was Davenport or Mary Joe Fernandez? I thought MJ's three runner-up appearances would beat Davenport's what I thought would be fluke Slam. Little did I know back then.
Martina Hingis: That 1997 was a sight to see. Damn Iva Majoli! Ruining history!

Any others?


jamie said...

I agree with most of your future inductees except possibly Kim Clijsters.She probably gets in but I'm not sure she deserves it. Very poor big match player. Whenever she played Justine in a major, it was like she just stepped aside and let Justine waltz to victory. A formula you use (which is a good one) is a 1-2 Majors and the #1 rankings. So what about Guga and Yevegeny. They both were briefly tops and had multiple slam wins. Is Muster already in?

Tennis Talk, Anyone? said...

Hey Jamie, thanks for the comment. I actually think the Hall has kind of lowered its standards over the past few years, or maybe it's the lack of all-timers, that's why I'm putting Kim in, because I agree with you about her career. They were great players, sure, but since Novotna and Noah made it, that seems to have opened the floodgates. So I think she goes in just on how the Hall's standards are now. And speaking of Noah, with him going in, I think Michael Chang definitely should make it. Guga and Kafelnikov should make it, too. Muster hasn't made it in yet, but I can't see him not making it, despite only having one major.

Let me ask you this: What do you think about Rios?

jamie said...


I'm a short lefty shotmaker. So naturally, I love Rios. From what you tell me, the H of F in Newport is pretty democratic (open and accessible) so Rios may get in based on very briefly being #1 despite being a bust in the Majors. He and Guga really energized S.American tenis (as they spell it in espaƱol).
By my exacting standards, he is borderline.Chang on the other hand, is an Absolute Yes. While Rios was good for about 3 years. Chang was a
top tier player for nearly a decade. He was never #1 but often
a top 5 player who made a lot of Slam semis and some Finals.
One last comment about H of Fers:
I was at SW 19 last month and Novotna was warming up (for ladies seniors, I guess). Her Groundstrokes are something pretty ugly...volleys are a different story. Anyhow, if you win Wimbledon
I guess you get to Newport too.

Tennis Talk, Anyone? said...

Hey Jamie. I was always kind of a mixed opinion about Chang until Noah and Novotna. I mean he does have a boatload of titles and was ranked pretty high on a consistent basis. I just never thought of him as that "changing-the-game-player." But looking back recently, his numbers definitely match up well with a lot of people.

Rios, if you were to look at it, could be the only player to hit number 1 and not make it in, unless Juan Carlos Ferrero never makes it. (someone I forgot to mention among active players)

I saw Novotna the year she won Wimbledon (but on a way more local basis here in New York at the Open) playing doubles with Hingis. I saw her miss a floater volley and felt immediately better about my net game!

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