How Do Tennis Rankings Work?


STARNBERG, March 25, 2021 (Guest post)

Have you ever wondered what causes some of the major tennis champions to take a tumble on the rankings? Though they might be a household name, it is not uncommon to see them in a position that does not always reflect their history or their skill. Why does this happen? Let’s take a closer look at how the rankings work.

Winning Matches

Players earn points for the board by playing in matches. There are tennis tournaments taking place all around the world throughout the calendar year, and it is not uncommon to see the same players taking to the court over and over – moving from one tournament to the next.

The winners of each tournament will earn the most points. Each tournament is weighted differently depending on its prestige, with the Grand Slams being worth the most. Even smaller tournaments can make all the difference when it comes to collecting points. Make sure you check out some of the ATP tennis odds if one of your favourite players is going to be hitting the court – if they win it could impact their rankings quite significantly.

Based on a Calendar Year

The rankings for tennis are calculated on a 52-week basis and are not based on all-time stats. Therefore, it is possible for someone to easily slip down the rankings, or for a new player to make their way up the system based on a few key wins in the right places.

Let’s take Andy Murray as an example here. No-one can deny that he is one of the best of the best British tennis players of all time and has won plenty of titles in his career. However, his recent years have seen a few injuries that have left him unable to compete. Since he has not been able to earn points, he has slipped down the rankings quite considerably, despite once occupying the No. 1 spot.

Anyone’s Game

One reason why this ranking system is used is that it truly makes tennis into anyone’s game. A player can come from nowhere and win a major tournament despite being ranked low-down, and it allows for the success of each player to be celebrated on an annual basis.

This makes it one of the fairest systems in sport by far. It is a true meritocracy that celebrates the achievements of a player. It can also make for some interesting battles the closer that you get to the top. It is possible to have two greats fighting it out for a top slot despite playing in tournaments on opposite sides of the world.

It might seem a little complicated and somewhat harsh to those who are not familiar with the system, but it is an excellent measure of how teams are performing. Tracking even just a single player over a year will show you just how much they can move up or down the system. If you want to know more about the world of tennis, getting to grips with the rankings is a must.