New at TennisAbstract: Weekly Elo Reports

Starting today, you can find weekly Elo ranking reports on the home page of Tennis Abstract. Here are the men’s ratings, and here are the women’s ratings.

Elo is a rating system originally designed for chess, and now used across a wide range of sports. It awards points based on who you beat, not when you beat them. That’s in direct contrast to the official ATP and WTA ranking systems, which award points based on tournament and round, regardless of whether you play a qualifier or the number one player in the world.

As such, there are some notable differences between Elo-based rankings and the official lists. In addition to some rearrangement in the top ten, ATP Elo ratings place last week’s champion Roberto Bautista Agut up at #12 (compared to #17 in the official ranking) and Jack Sock at #13 (instead of #23).

The shuffling is even more dramatic on the women’s side. Belinda Bencic, still outside the top ten in the official WTA ranking, is up to #5 by Elo. After her Fed Cup heroics last weekend, Bencic is a single Elo point away from drawing equal with #4 Angelique Kerber.

These new Elo reports also show peaks for every player. That way, you can see how close each player is to his or her career best. You can also spot which players–like Bencic and Bautista Agut–are currently at their peak.

Like any rating system, Elo isn’t perfect. In this simple form, it doesn’t consider surface at all. I haven’t factored Challenger, ITF, or qualifying results into these calculations, either. Elo also doesn’t make any adjustments when a player misses considerable time to injury; a player just re-assumes his or her old rating when they return.

That said, Elo is a more reliable way of comparing players and predicting match outcomes than the official ranking system. And now, you can check in on each player’s rating every week.

3 thoughts on “New at TennisAbstract: Weekly Elo Reports”

  1. Absolutely great stuff! You could create a bigger spread (it doesn’t need to be 1-3000), for example, 1-9000. And change the K value which should depend on frequency of play. Then it could be a model for all international tennis ratings from club player to national class junior to world class professional.

  2. Very nice stuff.
    For your tournament predictions you use jrank and not ELO if I’m right. Does it mean that jrank is ‘better’ than ELO ?

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