Tramlines

Two-year ranking system flawed

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World number one Rafael Nadal has called for an overhaul to the
men's ranking system
in a bid to protect injured players.

In the wake of Juan Martin Del Potro's third round clash with Novak
Djokovic, Nadal has said called for a change from a one-year rolling system to
a two-year rolling system would ensure that players forced to take an extended
lay-off due to injury wouldn't lose too many ranking points.

"To have a longer career (the solution) is to have two years
of ranking. Not only one year," Nadal said.

"(With a two-year rolling ranking system) if you stop being number
five of the world, you're not gonna be number six when you come back, but maybe
you're gonna be number 14, 15," Nadal explained.

"But with the way the ranking is done today, that's not happening.
If you have an injury for three months, five months, you are done."

Del Potro plummeted from fifth in the world in January 2010 to 485
in January 2011 after he was sidelined for a year with a nasty wrist injury.

The system Nadal proposes would ensure that that hadn't happened to
the 2009 US Open champion and would also have meant a much later meeting with
world number two Djokovic at Roland Garros.

The two-year rolling system is the one used in golf, hence Tiger
Woods' reign at world number one continuing even when the American had not
played a tournament for six months, and it seems to work for them.

And it would also mean that Serena Williams would still be world
number one instead of slipping down to 17 since she last played a tennis match
- the Wimbledon final last year.

With all the talk about whether or not Caroline Wozniacki should be
the women's world number one (Tramlines happens to think she should be given
that she has been the most consistent player on the women's tour for the past
10-11 months), this would eliminate much of the criticism that the Dane
shouldn't be there having never won a Grand Slam.

However, this system is not fool-proof as it would also protect
players who have suffered a massive slump in form.

A player could have a great year only to never back it up and 18 months
later still be in the top five despite barely winning a first round match.

Is that too big a price to pay? What do you think, should a players
ranking essentially be protected for two years in a bid to ensure the health of
players?

Or should a player be relied upon to be good enough to work his (or
her) way back up the ranking after an injury timeout. If they really deserve to
be in the top 10, maybe they should just be trusted to get back there through
hard work.

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TWEET OF THE DAY: Far from being involved just in tennis, a number
of the players today have been tweeting their support for the two teams
involved in the Champions League final. Support appears to be divided but
Tramlines has compiled some of the best for you.

Caroline Wozniacki: "At Wembley stadium.. Crazy atmosphere!!
Let the game begin:))"

Victoria Azarenka: "and for the most exciting
part...champions league tonight...cant wait! who r u guys cheering for?"

Patrick McEnroe: "Barca controlling possession. Just a matter
of time?"

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: "Have been waiting so long for
tonight's football match!both are my favorite teams,tough decision for me!what
do u think?!:)"

Svetlana Kuznetsova: "supporting Barce tonight!!!"

POINT OF THE DAY: Not so much one point as a string of them from
Lukas Kubot as he produces a highly impressive display of serving to get
himself out of a spot of bother in the second set against Alejandro Falla.

MATCH TO WATCH ON DAY EIGHT: Novak Djokovic is becoming a regular
in this section of the blog but his fourth round clash against Richard Gasquet
on day eight of the tournament promises much.

The Frenchman has been playing very well for a few weeks now, even
defeating Roger Federer in Rome a couple of weeks ago. And buoyed by a home crowd
could take some beating.

Novak Djokovic is obviously also highly confident but will his
two-day match against Juan Martin Del Potro have added to what can only be a
growing lethargy?

Here's hoping this clash turns into a battle of the backhands;
Djokovic's hammering double-hander against Gasquet's beautiful one-hander.

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