Yesterday, I described one strategy for using round, game margin, and total games to automatically rank interesting matches. After using this approach to rank the Top 30 men’s matches, in this post I do the same for the women for all Grand Slam matches from 1997 to the present.
To recap, the ‘interesting’ stat is intended to provide a way to rank the epicness, competitiveness and quality of matches in a way that can be applied for as much of tennis history that we can get box scores for.
The actual numbers we use to do this are the total games, game margin, and round, where round is given a weighted numeric category that puts the highest weight on finals and the lowest weight on the first qualifying round.
When applying this to women’s matches, we would expect a less skewed distribution in the length of matches, owing to the best of 3 format at majors. At the same time, we would expect a higher density of matches that are both long and competitive (low game margin). The chart of the standardized match stats for Grand Slam matches from 1997 to the present shows that this is generally the case. Nearly all of the Top 30 matches are 1 SD above average for total games and game margin.
Below is the list of the 30 matches in this period with the highest interest score, with a lot of recent matches making the cut. Sadly there were fewer full-length matches that I could track down with a quick Web search. So there are a lot here that are just extended highlights. Two matches I could only find a few minutes of highlights. Both were at the US Open: the Clijsters-Venus Williams SF in 2010 and Roberta Vinci’s upset of Serena Williams in the semifinal of 2015. Don’t know if the US Open has cracked down on these more but suspect I just haven’t searched hard enough.
A first round match at the 2001 Australian Open between Greta Arn and Jana Nejedly also made the list, the two going to 44 total games, the third longest match (in terms of games played) in the list. Was really curious what happened here but couldn’t even find a mention on youtube. If anyone can track down some footage of this one, I would greatly appreciate a tip on where to see it.
We definitely need more high-quality match footage of women’s matches out there. But there are still many hours of play in what is linked below that I hope gives you some positive distraction during this difficult period.
|Date||Event||Round||Player||Opponent||Result||Total Games Played||Game Margin||Video Link|
|2019-01-14||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Naomi Osaka||Petra Kvitova||7-6(2) 5-7 6-4||35||1||Link|
|2003-01-13||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Serena Williams||Venus Williams||7-6(4) 3-6 6-4||32||0||Link|
|2018-01-15||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Caroline Wozniacki||Simona Halep||7-6(2) 3-6 6-4||32||0||Link|
|2011-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||R16||Francesca Schiavone||Svetlana Kuznetsova||6-4 1-6 16-14||47||1||Link|
|1997-08-25||U.S. Open - New York||SF||Venus Williams||Irina Spirlea||7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(7)||36||0||Link|
|2005-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Serena Williams||Maria Sharapova||2-6 7-5 8-6||34||0||Link|
|2003-08-25||U.S. Open - New York||SF||Justine Henin||Jennifer Capriati||4-6 7-5 7-6(4)||35||1||Link|
|2018-01-15||Australian Open - Melbourne||R32||Simona Halep||Lauren Davis||4-6 6-4 15-13||48||2||Link|
|2016-01-18||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Angelique Kerber||Serena Williams||6-4 3-6 6-4||29||1||Link|
|2010-08-30||U.S. Open - New York||SF||Kim Clijsters||Venus Williams||4-6 7-6(2) 6-4||33||1||?|
|2002-01-14||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Jennifer Capriati||Martina Hingis||4-6 7-6(7) 6-2||31||3||Link|
|1999-01-18||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Amelie Mauresmo||Lindsay Davenport||4-6 7-5 7-5||34||2||Link|
|2012-08-27||U.S. Open - New York||F||Serena Williams||Victoria Azarenka||6-2 2-6 7-5||28||2||Link|
|2005-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Lindsay Davenport||Nathalie Dechy||2-6 7-6(5) 6-4||31||1||Link|
|2005-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||QF||Lindsay Davenport||Alicia Molik||6-4 4-6 9-7||36||2||Link|
|2018-01-15||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Simona Halep||Angelique Kerber||6-3 4-6 9-7||35||3||Link|
|2015-08-31||U.S. Open - New York||SF||Roberta Vinci||Serena Williams||2-6 6-4 6-4||28||0||?|
|2004-08-30||U.S. Open - New York||QF||Elena Dementieva||Amelie Mauresmo||4-6 6-4 7-6(1)||33||1||Link|
|2010-01-18||Australian Open - Melbourne||QF||Na Li||Venus Williams||2-6 7-6(4) 7-5||33||1||Link|
|2013-01-14||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Victoria Azarenka||Na Li||4-6 6-4 6-3||29||3||Link|
|2016-08-29||U.S. Open - New York||F||Angelique Kerber||Karolina Pliskova||6-3 4-6 6-4||29||3||Link|
|2001-01-15||Australian Open - Melbourne||R128||Greta Arn||Jana Nejedly||3-6 7-6(4) 12-10||44||0||?|
|2003-01-13||Australian Open - Melbourne||R16||Justine Henin||Lindsay Davenport||7-5 5-7 9-7||40||2||Link|
|2012-01-16||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Victoria Azarenka||Kim Clijsters||6-4 1-6 6-3||26||0||Link|
|2013-01-14||Australian Open - Melbourne||QF||Sloane Stephens||Serena Williams||3-6 7-5 6-4||31||1||Link|
|2017-08-28||U.S. Open - New York||QF||Sloane Stephens||Anastasija Sevastova||6-3 3-6 7-6(4)||31||1||Link|
|2017-08-28||U.S. Open - New York||QF||Venus Williams||Petra Kvitova||6-3 3-6 7-6(2)||31||1||Link|
|2010-01-18||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Serena Williams||Justine Henin||6-4 3-6 6-2||27||3||Link|
|2011-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||F||Kim Clijsters||Na Li||3-6 6-3 6-3||27||3||Link|
|2011-01-17||Australian Open - Melbourne||SF||Na Li||Caroline Wozniacki||3-6 7-5 6-3||30||2||Link|