What is the basis for the WTA and ATP rankings?

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15 Dec 2021
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Every tennis player dreams of having their name at the top of the ATP or WTA rankings. What requirements must they meet and how does the scoring process look like? We will tell you all about it in this article.

What are the ATP and WTA organizations?

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) was founded in 1972 to protect the interests of professional tennis players. Then, since 1990, the organization began to periodically organize international tournaments for men, we are talking about the ATP Tour, which includes:

  • Australian Open,
  • French Open,
  • Wimbledon,
  • US Open.

WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) is the female counterpart of ATP, which was established a year later than its predecessor (1973). It is the largest women’s tennis organization that unites not only tennis players but also event organizers and refereeing federations. The main tasks of the organization include coordinating the seasons, looking after the interests and safety of the players, acquiring sponsors, resolving conflicts (sports-related), inspections, research, etc

ATP scoring

The ATP bases its ranking on the points earned by a player in major tournaments. The number of points is therefore determined by the tournaments in which the tennis player has placed. The sporting events taken into account are:

  • the aforementioned four, or Grand Slam, for which the highest number of points is awarded – 2000,
  • ATP Tour Masters 1000 – 1000 points,
  • ATP Tour 500 – 500 points,
  • ATP Tour 250 – 250 points,
  • ATP Finals – the total number of points possible to obtain is 1500.

Once the points earned during the season are summed up, the ranking is created and is valid for the next 52 weeks. Note that after the season opener, tennis players do not start from zero, but from the number of points accumulated so far

Scoring in the WTA

The system is quite similar to the one we have learned for the ATP. However, the difference occurs in the number of tournaments. The organization of tennis players deals only with the most important games, while the WTA coordinates the course of the entire season and all ventures, from little prestigious to the most recognized tournaments. As a result, scoring has to vary a bit, which is why the WTA includes:

  • WTA Premier Mandatory (4 tournaments),
  • WTA Premier 5 (5 tournaments),
  • WTA Premier (12 tournaments),
  • WTA International Series (32 tournaments),
  • WTA 125K.

The tournaments run from January to November. The culmination of the tournament is the WTA Finals (Masters), where the eight best tennis players of the season compete

Also worth mentioning is the WTA Elite Thropy, a competition between players who have been unlucky in recent months, but have shown such great skills that they have qualified in positions 9-19 in the ranking, as well as pairs in positions 9-12 in the doubles ranking. It should in no way be considered a “side tournament”. It is ranked second in the WTA rankings, just after the WTA Finals, and the Grand Slam is only third in that hierarchy.

Main Photo: Moises Alex/unsplash.com

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