Since Patrick Rafter and Mark Philippoussis are languishing at #16
and #17 respectively in the ATP Entry System rankings, one wonders whether
the ATP rankings-makers are forgetting to look south of the equator with
Around the globe, Germany's Nicolas Kiefer is ranked 4th in the world
by the ATP. In the Aussie spirit of friendly competition, let's compare
these players' accomplishments, shall we?
Within the past year, Philippoussis advanced to the quarterfinals at
Wimbledon before losing to eventual-champion Pete Sampras (in a match that
Philippoussis led by a set before withdrawing with an injury); he advanced
to the 4th round at the Australian Open before losing to eventual-champion
Andre Agassi; and he won the Super 9 tournament held at Indian Wells.
In addition, he won both his singles matches in the Davis Cup Finals (with
Rafter hurt), leading Australia to the Davis Cup Championship.
Rafter advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals (beating 8th-seeded Todd
Martin along the way), where he lost to Agassi. He was a finalist
in two Super 9 events (losing to Sampras in one of those). In Davis
Cup singles play, he went 2-0 in Australia's quarterfinal victory.
Kiefer—ranked behind only Agassi, Sampras, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov by
the ATP—lost to an unseeded player in the 1st round at the French Open,
lost to an unseeded player in the 2nd round at Wimbledon, and lost to an
unseeded player in the 3rd round at the U.S. Open. His reigning Grand
Slam highlight is advancing to the Australian Open quarterfinals, where
he lost to the first seeded player he faced, 12th-seeded Magnus Norman.
How did Kiefer do in the Super 9s? He failed to make the final
in any of them. How did he do in Davis Cup play? He didn't.
But the ATP doesn't count Davis Cup success, so while Philippoussis and
Rafter brought home the Davis Cup for Australia, Kiefer racked up ATP points
by winning in Tokyo, Halle, and Tashkent—triumphing over Wayne Ferreira,
Nicklas Kulti, and George Bastl in the respective finals.
The AndersonSports Ranking of Tennis Success has Philippoussis #5, Rafter
#6, and Kiefer outside of the top-10.
Doesn't that sound a mite more realistic, mate?