Here's what I would do, both tours.
Never talk about the 52-week ranking; its only purpose is to seed players at tournaments.
Only speak about the Race Rankings because YE ranking is the goal, not weekly. The way it works today, it's tantamount to saying the Cubs were in first place in June but finished the year in 4th. Who cares they were in 1st in June? Nobody. All sports fans care about is who finished the season at #1. Telling fans there are basically two #1s simultaneously is completely retarded. Counting weeks at #1 is embarrassing
I can't imagine people other than fanboys want to hear statements like: "Federer is #1 but Nole leads the 2012 Race." That's completely retarded. In 2012, Nole has been #1 virtually wire-to-wire. They do this in every sport. Easy for other sports fans to follow. Then, at the time of the majors (which you'll get the broadest spectrum of viewer) you can explain the seedings as being based on the 52-week system. But that's it. The 52-week system need never be mentioned but 4 times a year.
And if they simply did it this way, we'll never have to hear Dallas say, "Serena won 2 majors but is ranked #4?"
If for no other reason, do it for Dallas.
I agree (to some extent). I do think they have to keep the 52 for seeding. Can you imaging at the beginning of the year some unknown plays a 250 tournament and win it, leads the 'race' rankings, and then they use that rankings for the next tournament to 'seed' players based on the race?
So yes - I agree that the 52 needs to stay there for the seeding. And that's why I'm glad we have the 52 because otherwise Roger wouldn't have broken Pete's record this year!
But seriously, they do need to do something about the rankings. People always say that in the end, the 'race' and 'rankings' will even out. So maybe they know what they are doing. However, you have some players who know how to play the system. Like Caroline. She played so many tournaments and racked up so many points that she stayed #1 for a while even though she did not win a major. Also, I think she took advantage of the tour when no one else really wanted to stand up. Serena was out injured, Maria out injured, Victoria wasn't 'Victoria' yet, etc., so Caroline took that void and became #1. Not her fault - just the way the tour was determined.
Ok... I'm rambling... what was the original point?
My previous point was that maybe, if Serena keeps playing, she will be #1 at the end of the year on paper too. Right now, I know none of the WTA players would disagree that she's really NOT the #1 player right now, although technically, she's not.