How the Ranking System Works in Tennis

As with most other sports, tennis has a world ranking. In this list all tennis players are sorted according to their performance. You have probably already noticed the list of the best players.

However, you are not sure how the ranking is created. That’s why we explain in today’s article how the tennis world ranking works exactly. In addition, you can find out which players are currently in the top positions in the tables below.

Different Types of World Rankings

Basically there is a separate world ranking list for both men and women. While the ATP is responsible for calculating the world Rankings for the men, the WTA is responsible for setting the rankings for the women. The ITF also has its own rankings for juniors and seniors. However, this is only relevant for players who are exclusively on the ITF Tour.

The Ranking System

In general, tennis players have the opportunity to collect points for the world rankings at every official tournament. These points are then added up in the points account of the respective player. The more points a player has, the higher he is in the ranking.

The special feature here is that only the points collected over the last 52 weeks are included in the ranking. In this case the world Rankings are updated weekly. This procedure is also called the “Entry System”. So there is no moment at which the points are reset to zero. Instead, there is a smooth transition in the calculation from tournament to tournament.

For example, if a player reaches the semi-finals in one tournament, he must defend the points he has won in the same tournament the next season, otherwise the Points expire. To be more precise, he would have to reach the semi-finals again to avoid losing points.

If he reaches the final or even wins the tournament, more points will be added to his account. He will then be credited with the difference in points from the previous year. If the player fails or does not play in an earlier round, the difference will be deducted from his account.

This points system ensures that players who perform well climb up the ranking relatively quickly. The difficulty, however, lies in maintaining this position in the following season. That’s why it happens more often that injured tennis professionals plummet in the rankings because they are not able play a match in the season. This is because the points earned over a year ago no longer have any influence.

The Goal of the Ranking System

The world rankings are not only used to better assess players according to their current performance. It is also the basis for the seeding lists for the majority of tennis tournaments. You may have noticed that the tournament schedule contains a small number next to some player names. This number indicates the rank in the seeding list.

In general the number of players seeded depends on the size of the tournament. For example, in Grand Slam tournaments there are 32 seeded players in the main draw. With the introduction of a seed list, tournament organizers prevent the best players from meeting in the early stages of the tournament.

Typically, the tournament schedule is set up so that the no. 1 player starts in the top half of the tournament while the no. 2 player begins in the bottom half of the table. This way the two best placed players can only face each other in the final. Afterwards the procedure is continued for the other seeded players. The starting position of the remaining players is then decided by drawing lots.

Men’s World Rankings

Basically, the number of possible points for the world ranking list is graded according to the tournament category. As a general rule, the higher the level of play in the respective tournament, the more points a player can collect. For men, the points system is as follows:

Tournamentmax. Points
Grand Slam2000
ATP Finals1500
ATP Masters 10001000
Olympic Games750
ATP Tour 500500
ATP Tour 250250
ATP Challenger Tour125

For men, the results of a maximum of 19 tournaments influence the ranking position. So it makes no sense to play as many tournaments as possible in one season. Instead, the professional players can better concentrate on the essential tournaments. The 19 tournaments are again divided according to their category.

  • All 4 Grand Slam tournaments
  • All 8 Masters 1000 tournaments
  • The best 6 other tournaments
  • If applicable, the ATP Finals

Accordingly, the number of possible points is limited to a total of 21000. The record for the highest score is currently held by Novak Djokovic. At the beginning of June 2016 he reached exactly 16950 points.

Besides the current world ranking there is also the annual world ranking, which is also called “Champions Race”. This list only records the points that a player collects during the season. At the end of the season the best eight players in this ranking qualify for the ATP Finals.

Live Men’s ATP Rankings

1Novak DjokovicSerbia10.220
2Rafael NadalSpain9.850
3Dominic ThiemAustria7.045
4Roger FedererSwitzerland6.630
5Daniil MedvedevRussia5.890
6Stefanos TsitsipasGreece4.745
7Alexander ZverevGermany3.630
8Matteo BerrettiniItaly2.860
9Gael MonfilsFrance2.860
10David GoffinBelgium2.555
11Fabio FogniniItaly2.400
12Roberto Bautista-AgutSpain2.360
13Diego SchwartzmanArgentina2.265
14Andrey RublevRussia2.234
15Karen KhachanovRussia2.120
16Denis ShapovalovCanada2.075
17Stanislas WawrinkaSwitzerland2.060
18Christian GarinChile1.900
19Grigor DimitrovBulgaria1.850
20Felix Auger-AliassimeCanada1.771
21John IsnerUSA1.760
22Benoit PaireFrance1.738
23Dusan LajovicSerbia1.695
24Taylor FritzUSA1.510
25Pablo Carreno BustaSpain1.500
26Alex de MinaurAustralia1.485
27Nikoloz BasilashviliGeorgia1.395
28Daniel EvansGreat Britain1.359
29Hubert HurkaczPoland1.353
30Milos RaonicCanada1.350
31Kei NishikoriJapan1.345
32Filip KrajinovicSerbia1.343
33Borna CoricCroatia1.320
34Jan-Lennard StruffGermany1.315
35Guido PellaArgentina1.310
36Casper RuudNorway1.279
37Marin CilicCroatia1.225
38Adrian MannarinoFrance1.191
39Reilly OpelkaUSA1.177
40Nick KyrgiosAustralia1.170
41Albert Ramos-ViniolasSpain1.130
42Ugo UmbertFrance1.111
43John MillmanAustralia1.071
44Kyle EdmundGreat Britain1.050
45Sam QuerreyUSA1.045
46Lorenzo SonegoItaly1.030
47Miomir KecmanovicSerbia1.028
48Yoshihito NishiokaJapan1.007
49Jo-Wilfried TsongaFrance1.005
50Richard GasquetFrance958
51Alexander BublikKazakhstan965
52Frenando VerdascoSpain945
53Pablo AndujarSpain942
54Gilles SimonFrance935
55Tennys SandgrenFrance923
56Feliciano LopezSpain908
57Tommy PaulUSA894
58Lucas PouilleFrance880
59Jeremy ChardyFrance860
60Pablo CuevasUruguay857
61Aljaz BedeneSlovenia850
62Juan Ignacio LonderoArgentina832
63Steve JohnsonUSA825
64Jordan ThompsonAustralia823
65Jiri VeselyCzech Republic785
66Joao SousaPortugal776
67Radu AlbotMoldavia772
68Mikael YmerSweden759
69Egor GerasimovBelarus744
70Soonwon KwonSouth Korea742
71Pierre-Hugues HerbertFrance740
72Ricardas BerankisLatvia739
73Jannik SinnerItaly733
74Philipp KohlschreiberGermany729
75Corentin MoutetFrance722
76Attila BalazsHungary715
77Cameron NorrieGreat Britain712
78Frederico DelbonisArgentina711
79Gianluca MagerItaly711
80Laslo DjereSerbia705
81Frances TiafoeUSA700
82Thaigo MonteiroBrazil699
83James DuckworthAustralia697
84Marton FucsovicsHungary692
85Dennis NovakAustria686
86Stefano TravagliaItaly684
87Yuichi SugitaJapan682
88Andreas SeppiItaly671
89Nicolas JarryChile671
90Yasutaka UchiyamaJapan669
91Mikhail KukushkinKasakhstan661
92Dominik KöpferGermany643
93Vasek PospisilCanada642
94Hugo DellienBolivia638
95Gregoire BarrereFrance637
96Andrej MartinSlovakia629
97Alejandro Davidovich FokinaSpain627
98Lloyd HarrisSouth Africa616
99Roberto Carballes BaenaSpain614
100Salvatore CarusoItaly597

Women’s World Rankings

Just like in the men’s competition, the points for the women are distributed according to the corresponding tournament category. However, as the structure of the WTA Tour differs significantly from that of the ATP Tour, a different scale is provided. In this table you will find the maximum points that can be achieved in the women’s tournaments:

Tournamentmax. Points
Grand Slam2000
WTA Finals1500
WTA Premier Mandatory1000
WTA Premier 5900
Olympic Games685
WTA Premier470
WTA International280
WTA Challenger160

In women’s tennis, the results of the best 16 tournaments are included in the ranking. There are two more special features to consider.

If a player has qualified for tournaments in the “Premier Mandatory” category or higher, then the points gained will be included in the calculation of the best 16 results. If the player is still among the top 20 female tennis players in the world, her two best “Premier 5” tournaments will also be taken into account.

The alternative world ranking for women is the “Race to the Championships”. As in the men’s event, this ranking only considers the results of the players within the respective year. The eight players with the most points secure their participation in the WTA finals at the end of the season.

Live Women’s WTA Rankings

1Ashleigh BartyAustralia8.717
2Simona HalepRomania6.076
3Karolina PliskovaCzech Republik5.205
4Sofia KeninUSA4.590
5Elina SvitolinaUkraine4.580
6Bianca AndreescuCanada4.555
7Kiki BertensNetherlands4.335
8Belinda BencicSwitzerland4.010
9Serena WilliamsUSA3.915
10Naomi OsakaJapan3.625
11Aryna SabalenkaBelarus3.615
12Petra KvitovaCzech Republic3.566
13Madison KeysUSA2.962
14Johanna KontaGreat Britain2.803
15Petra MarticCroatia2.770
16Garbine MuguruzaSpain2.711
17Elena RybakinaKasakhstan2.471
18Marketa VondrousovaCzech Republic2.307
19Alison RiskeUSA2.256
20Maria SakkariGreece2.130
21Angelique KerberGermany2.040
22Anett KontaveitEstonia2.010
23Elise MertensBelgium1.950
24Donna VekicCroatia1.880
25Dayana YastremskaUkraine1.835
26Karolina MuchovaCzech Republic1.813
27Ekatarina AlexandrovaRussia1.775
28Amanda AnisimovaUSA1.717
29Qiang WangChina1.706
30Anastasia PavlyuchenkovaRussia1.540
31Barbora StrycovaCzech Republic1.530
32Svetlana KuznetsovaRussia1.527
33Yulia PutintsevaKasakhstan1.525
34Saisai ZhengChina1.510
35Shuai ZhangChina1.475
36Magda LinettePoland1.472
37Sloane StephensUSA1.453
38Julia GörgesGermany1.423
39Ons JabeurTunisia1.373
40Veronika KudermetovaRussia1.373
41Jelena OstapenkoLatvia1.288
42Kristina MladenovicFrance1.335
43Anastasija SevastovaLatvia1.288
44Rebecca PetersonSweden1.225
45Polona HercogSlovenia1.205
46Caroline GarciaFrance1.175
47Marie BouzkovaCzechRepublic1.147
48Jennifer BradyUSA1.144
49Iga SwiatekPoland1.139
50Heather WatsonGreat Britain1.122
51Danielle CollinsUSA1.115
52Cori GauffUSA1.081
53Fiona FerroFrance1.047
54Katerina SiniakovaCzech Republic1.045
55Su-Wei HsiehTaiwan1.035
56Ajla TomljanovicAustralia1.035
57Alison von UytvanckBelgium1.035
58Victoria AzarenkaBelarus992
59Alize CornetFrance985
60Bernarda PeraUSA985
61Anna BlinkovaRussia969
62Lauren DavisUSA967
63Jil TeichmannSwitzerland924
64Zarina DiyasKasakhstan918
65Laura SiegemundGermany910
66Daria KasatkinaRussia905
67Venus WilliamsUSA900
68Carla Suarez NavarroSpain881
69Kristyna PliskovaCzech Republic880
70Arantxa RusNetherlands869
71Tamara ZidansekSlovenia840
71Nao HibinoJapan838
73Taylor TownsendUSA835
74Lin ZhuChina830
75Sorana CirsteaRomania820
76Misaki DoiJapan818
77Kirsten FlipkensBelgium801
78Yafan WangChina795
79Madison BrengleUSA786
80Jessica PergulaUSA783
81Irina-Camelia BeguRomania777
82Viktoria KuzmovaSlovakia775
83Sara Sorribes TormoSpain763
84Anastasia PotapovaRussia759
85Patricia Maria TigRomania759
86Nina StojanovicSerbia751
87Andrea PetkovicGermany750
88Christina MchaleUSA737
89Camila GiorgiItaly732
90Monica PuigPuerto Rico722
91Danka KovinicMontenegro714
92Ana BogdanRomania710
93Tatjana MariaGermany702
94Paula BadosaSpain698
95Jasmine PaoliniItaly689
96Kristie AhnUSA668
97Samanta StosurAustralia667
98Kateryna KozlovaUkraine658
99Kaia KanepiEstonia656
100Timea BabosHungary650