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:
|ATP Masters 1000||1000|
|ATP Tour 500||500|
|ATP Tour 250||250|
|ATP Challenger Tour||125|
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
|25||Pablo Carreno Busta||Spain||1.500|
|26||Alex de Minaur||Australia||1.485|
|28||Daniel Evans||Great Britain||1.359|
|44||Kyle Edmund||Great Britain||1.050|
|62||Juan Ignacio Londero||Argentina||832|
|65||Jiri Vesely||Czech Republic||785|
|70||Soonwon Kwon||South Korea||742|
|77||Cameron Norrie||Great Britain||712|
|97||Alejandro Davidovich Fokina||Spain||627|
|98||Lloyd Harris||South Africa||616|
|99||Roberto Carballes Baena||Spain||614|
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:
|WTA Premier Mandatory||1000|
|WTA Premier 5||900|
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
|3||Karolina Pliskova||Czech Republik||5.205|
|12||Petra Kvitova||Czech Republic||3.566|
|14||Johanna Konta||Great Britain||2.803|
|18||Marketa Vondrousova||Czech Republic||2.307|
|26||Karolina Muchova||Czech Republic||1.813|
|31||Barbora Strycova||Czech Republic||1.530|
|50||Heather Watson||Great Britain||1.122|
|54||Katerina Siniakova||Czech Republic||1.045|
|57||Alison von Uytvanck||Belgium||1.035|
|68||Carla Suarez Navarro||Spain||881|
|69||Kristyna Pliskova||Czech Republic||880|
|83||Sara Sorribes Tormo||Spain||763|
|85||Patricia Maria Tig||Romania||759|
|90||Monica Puig||Puerto Rico||722|