ATP tennis organizations (Professional Tennis Association) and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) were created to protect and represent the interests of professional tennis players. Accordingly, ATP is for men and BTA is for women. At the same time, these tennis associations are the organizers of the international tennis tournaments ATP Tour and WTA Tour, which are held around the world for tennis professionals. In turn, the ATP tour consists of five categories of tournaments: Masters Cup, ATP 1000 Series, ATP 500 Series, ATP 250 Series, Challenger Tournaments. WTA-tour consists of a series of international tournaments, which includes 31 tournaments with a small prize fund. Within the framework of these ATP and BTA tours, there is an official ATP and WTA rating, which is calculated according to a special system, based on the results of the tennis players that the athletes showed on the tour. The rating clearly shows which professional athlete is currently the strongest tennis player in the world (the first racket in the world).
There are two rating systems in the ATP Tour: the Emirates ATP Rankings (hereinafter referred to as Current Rating) and the Emirates ATP Rankings Race to London (hereinafter referred to as the Championship Race). What are these two ratings responsible for? And, in fact, why do we need exactly two ratings?
Current rating of the men’s ATP tennis tour: Australian open
Let’s start in order with the usual Current Rating (the Emirates ATP Rankings). This rating determines the position of the tennis player in the rating at the current time and is recalculated every week since the start of the season for 52 weeks; this is exactly how long the tennis season lasts. It is for this rating that tennis players are sown on tournaments, selected for certain competitions without qualification or, on the contrary, with qualifications. For example, Federer is now the first racket of the world and Dudi Sela is the 98th. This means that for a thousand, say, in Canada, Roger Federer will be sown under the first number, and an Israeli, unfortunately, cannot even qualify for the tournament because of his low rating.
Nevertheless, let’s say Roger badly played this tournament and dropped in the ranking to the third line in the ranking after, say, a loss in the first round. Consequently, in the next tournament the Serb will be sown under the 3rd number, if the first and second racket will participate in the tournament, if not, then, of course, higher.
How are points scored in current ATP ranking of men’s tennis tour?
We now turn to more subtle points. Let’s talk about how the rating points are calculated. The calculation is carried out on a very interesting formula. For tennis players from the top 30 rating is calculated based on the results of the 18 tournaments. It is the 18th. Even if theoretically a tennis player won 20 tournaments in a year, he will receive rating points for only 18 of them, eliminating 2 tournaments with the least points. What are these tournaments?
For tennis players from the top 30 is obligatory, I repeat, obligatory participation in 4 Grand Slam tournaments, in 8 tournaments of the Masters-1000 + series, 6 best tennis results from the remaining tournaments are selected, namely from ATP 500, ATP 250 and Challengers. If a tennis player has played, say, 16 tournaments, he gets points for 16 tournaments if he has won 25 he gets points for 18 of his best tournaments. If, say, due to injury, a player missed an ATP-1000 series tournament, he can replace these points (they are 0) with points obtained from the remaining ATP 500 series and ATP 200 tournaments or challengers, in order to eventually have all the same 18 tournaments.
If one or several winners of the Grand Slam tournaments of the same season do not fall into the final eight, but have a rating not lower than the 20th, then one (8th) place is reserved for them. For example, in 2001, Goran Ivanisevic ranked 14th in the ranking before the Tennis Masters Cup, but thanks to the won Wimbledon he qualified for the tournament, squeezing Marat Safin. A similar situation occurred in 2004: Gaston Gaudio, who won the Roland Garros and took 10th place at the end of the season, was included instead of Andre Agassi, who is in the 8th position in the rating. In the case of several applicants, preference is given to those who have a higher rating.
World tournaments: US open
Unlike other ATP World Tour tournaments, the Final tournament is held in a mixed system, which involves the division of tennis players into two groups (“A” and “B”) as follows: two participants with the highest rating are divorced into different groups. The six remaining, in accordance with the points scored, qualify as 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, forming three pairs, in which the participant determines this or that group by drawing lots days before the start and, as a rule, in the City Hall of London). For players who are not in the top 30, the rules are very similar. Points for each of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments + 8 tournaments of the Masters 1000 series must be awarded for them. The 6 best results in other tournaments are also taken into account, but no more than 4 best results in the ATP 500 category. This is probably the main difference for guys who are not in the top 30.
Stan Wawrinka was a typical tennis player who uses loopholes in the calculation of the rating in full force. Having lost a lot of defeats in the first rounds of ATP-500 tournaments and below, he managed to stay in the top-5. Why? The fact is that Big helmets and major tournaments Stan plays, as a rule, very collected and successfully, and it is they who bring the lion’s share of the rating to tennis players. While in small tournaments Stan doesn’t like to strain. Not lordly this thing. In 2017, the ATP Board of Directors decided to name the group “A” as “Pita Sampras”, and the group “B” as “Boris Becker”. In the doubles, the groups are respectively named: “Woodbridge / Woodford” and “Elting / Harhois”.
The practice of naming groups by the names of great tennis players of previous years began in 2015, when the tournament celebrated its 45th anniversary, although in 2001 the groups were also named after John Newcomb and Ken Rosewall. Groups have new names every year.
Games in groups are held in a circular system. Every day there are two matches in one of the groups. If, for example, on Sunday, participants from group “B” play, then on Monday the matches are held in group “A”. Which group starts first is determined by lot. By drawing lots, the numbers under which players are placed in each of the tournament tables are determined. On the first game day in each group, the first participants to meet are numbered “1” and “4”. In the second match, the numbers “2” and “3” are played. On the next gaming day (one calendar day), the match is first held between the winners of the matches on the first gaming day and, accordingly, the second losers of the first day go to court. Thus, the group stage takes 6 calendar days. On the seventh day, the semi-finals are held, in which the group winners meet with participants who take 2nd place in opposite groups. And on the eighth day (Sunday) the relationship in the finals is found out by the winners of the semi-finals. Such a system is more objective in determining the strongest (as compared to the Olympic one), since it does not deprive a participant in losing one match at the group stage to reach the final. For III place the match is not held.
In the group stage, with equal victories for the two participants, the distribution of seats in the group is carried out on the basis of the following conditions (in the order of succession):
- in the majority of matches played, when, after the start of the tournament, someone took off due to injury or illness (for example, the ratio of won and lost matches is 2-1 better than 2-0);
- by the result of a personal meeting.
If the three participants have one victory, the following conditions are taken into account in the allocation of seats (in order of priority):
- the player who has played fewer games is eliminated, and for the remaining two, the condition of the “personal meeting result” takes effect;
- the best difference between the won and lost sets in the matches between the applicants (if the two of the best three candidates have the same indicator, then the condition of the “personal meeting result” comes into effect);
- the best difference between won and lost games in matches between challengers (if the two of the best three candidates have the same indicator, then the condition of “personal meeting” takes effect);
- the place of sowing (the last APR rating) for the case of equality among the three applicants of equality of indicators under the previous conditions.
If for any reason one or several of the “magnificent eight” refuses to participate, then they are replaced from among two spare, who are invited according to the rating. Despite the tiredness of the season, there were no cases of refusal for this reason, but players refused because of injuries or illness (for example, Rafael Nadal in 2014 refused because of inflammation of appendicitis).
If it is necessary to replace more than two players, the organizers will have to urgently call on additional “reserve”, but this has not happened yet. The prospective candidate for the “reserve” role may refuse and, then this place is offered to the next player (pair) in accordance with the position in the rating. For example, in 2008, the first substitute was Radek Stepanek with a 27th rating position, and the second was Nicolas Kiefer with a 35th position. When a “substitute” replaces a player after the first or second match in the group stage, the outgoing victories do not go into his asset. In case of refusal of the semifinalist to continue the performance, it is replaced by one of the participants who did not qualify for the semifinal or from among the substitute players. All matches are played up to two victory sets. When the score is set in 6: 6, a tie-break is played to determine the winner. In doubles, the third set is played out in a super-tie-break format (up to ten points won or up to two points advantage after the score 9: 9).