Last Year Today: Anonymous ESPN poll predicts Serena's ATP ranking

by: Nina Pantic | May 18, 2017

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Serena Williams (AP)

The news cycle in the tennis world moves fast—who can keep up? That's where we come in. Each Thursday, Last Year Today will look back at a memorable story from exactly one year ago. 

ESPN anonymously polled 31 tennis pros in an article titled "Tennis Confidential," and the results are worth a double take. The questions vary wildly, but here are a few highlights, and one very big lowlight.

The most overrated players? Former lovers Grigor Dimitrov and Maria Sharapova tied with 12.9 percent. Cue the dating jokes:

A whopping 74.2 percent said they have never suspected an opponent of fixing a match.

Wednesday is Sharapova’s hearing in London with the International Tennis Federation for her failed drug test. If only that case was as simple as taking a poll, which produced this ruling for her punishment: One year (64.5 percent), multi-year (29.0 percent) and no punishment (6.5 percent).

Most controversial, though, was the question of what Serena Williams’ ranking would be if she played a full season on the ATP tour. The results showed that 48.4 percent believe she would be between No. 501 and No. 1,000, 32 percent think she would be outside the Top 1,000 and only 19.4 percent say she would be inside the Top 500.

Given the fact that Williams has won 21 Grand Slams, and she just won her 70th career WTA title in Rome, some people are understandably outraged that ESPN even posed the question:

There is no counterbalancing question for the men about rankings, and there is also no diva-related question for the men. At least all the illustrations are equally awesome.

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