ITF World Tennis Number
Tennis NZ is introducing the ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) – a brand new, inclusive and modern rating system for all players in New Zealand.
The ITF together with the LTA, the USTA and other leading tennis nations have cooperated in the development of the new rating system, which will be used by national associations around the world to help create a common language across tennis.
It is a single global tennis rating for all players, regardless of age, ability or gender - from the world’s elite to a player taking part in their first competition. The scale will see players given a rating from 40 to 1, with recreational players starting close to 40 and the professionals being close to 1.
The modernisation and innovation of NZ's grading system was identified as a priority area to improve on during Tennis NZ's Competition review by coaches, referees, players and parents. The ITF WTN presents a timely opportunity to meet this goal.
Tournament players will get their WTN rating in Quarter 2 2022 followed by interclub players in Quarter 3.
See www.worldtennisnumber.com for more information.
What about Match Hub gradings?
Tennis NZ will continue to run the Match Hub competition system for the current summer season for interclub and leagues. All players will still have a Match Hub grading - for both singles and doubles.
As the WTN is rolled out, players will see on Match Hub both their WTN number and their Match Hub grading.
In relation to player acceptance criteria and seeding for sanctioned tournaments and competitions, the aim is to replace the Tennis NZ Match Hub grading with the ITF World Tennis Number. Date to be decided.
WTN and Match Hub are similar in concept in that all matches count towards a player's rating. However a significant difference is that the WTN takes into account the 'closeness' of a match. This means that a player can actually benefit from a close loss in a match that they are expected to lose anyway. In Match Hub a 3 set loss is treated the same as a straight sets loss.
The ITF World Tennis Number is made up of 8 key Principles. These are designed to provide guidance to players on how their Number may change, what may affect it and how they can use this measure to support their development and enjoyment.
The World Tennis Number uses a sophisticated mathematical calculation that is similar to rating systems used in chess and video games.
The algorithm has been specifically developed for tennis using world leading expertise. The more you compete, the more accurate your rating will be with players being able to better track their progress in a new player dashboard.
The WTN updates each week to provide a ‘real time’ skill level rating that can be trusted and relied upon.
The World Tennis Number algorithm uses up to four years of match result data to calculate a player’s number. When players compete, it analyses the pre-match rating of both players. The algorithm then predicts what it thinks the outcome of the match will be. Players’ Numbers will change depending on the actual match score and how it compares to the prediction.
The more results the system holds, the better the algorithm will understand a player’s ability, and therefore, its “confidence” in the Number will increase.
Match results are analysed at set level, meaning the algorithm takes into account each individual set as its own result.
The World Tennis Number will be one scale from 40 (lowest) to 1 (highest).
All players will appear on one scale from the world’s elite to a complete beginner playing their first match.
In NZ the World Tennis Number will be displayed to one decimal place.
The World Tennis Number scale is age and gender neutral – so any two players with a similar World Tennis Number can have a competitive match.
The ITF World Tennis Number will be issued to players who are 10 years or older.
The Game zONe identifies a range of potential opponents for a player - this supports finding evenly-matched players to provide the best-possible experience on court.
Players will receive a separate singles and doubles ITF World Tennis Number.
This will allow players to find appropriate matches based on match result data relevant to the type of event or competition they want to play in. It will also allow players of all standards and formats to track their progress.
The ITF World Tennis Number will allow players to be grouped with other well-matched opponents, providing more appropriate and enjoyable competition for the players taking part. It will support venues, coaches and officials in setting up competitions and finding people of the same standard to play. This could include graded tournaments, box leagues, club tournaments and interclub leagues.
The World Tennis Number will update every Wednesday taking results up to the previous Sunday into account. It will provide a ‘real time’ standard that allows a player to more closely track their competition performance and progress over time.
Adult players that are new to the game and therefore have no match results recorded, will be able to complete a Player Standard Questionnaire (PSQ).
The PSQ is a series of questions which will help understand a player’s ability and will support the system to assign a more accurate Number. Once a player has started to compete and has recorded some match results the World Tennis Number algorithm will base future changes on this.
Results from all nations supporting the World Tennis Number will be used by the algorithm to count towards a player’s Number.
A player will have one singles and one doubles World Tennis Number which will reflect all matches they have played at home and abroad.