ITF - International Tennis Federation

World Tennis Number

World Tennis Number Frequently Asked Questions

What is the World Tennis Number?

The World Tennis Number is a number assigned to a tennis player that reflects their level of playing ability.

Why a World Tennis Number?

The ITF and its member nations have created the World Tennis Number to deliver a user-friendly and inclusive system that will determine a player’s ability level and can be applied to recreational and competitive tournament matches worldwide.

The World Tennis Number system will be an online community that will connect tennis players worldwide. The aim of the World Tennis Number is to encourage more players of all ages, genders and abilities to enjoy more meaningful tennis experiences more often.

This project is targeted at players of all levels – but there is a clear focus on recreational players to provide level-based matches and a more enjoyable experience for all.

Is the World Tennis Number the same as a ranking?

No. The World Tennis Number is a number assigned to a player that reflects their current level of playing ability across all competitions they play in – including but not limited to club leagues, provincial, regional, national and international events.

A ranking reflects the relative positions of players on a ranking list within a well-defined circuit/tour (i.e. Juniors, Seniors, Professional, etc.) based on how far they have progressed in those tournaments.  

Will there be separate World Tennis Numbers for different ages and genders?

The World Tennis Number is one scale aimed at all players of any age, ability and gender. One of the best things about tennis is that players of any age and gender can enjoy playing together if they are of similar standard.

From what age can I get a World Tennis Number?

The implementation of the World Tennis Number will be overseen by the relevant National Tennis Associations. They will continue to govern young player development in their respective countries, according to local laws and their player welfare and player development strategies.

In what countries will the World Tennis Number be available?

Players from any country will be able to obtain a World Tennis Number either via their own National Association’s website or directly via the World Tennis Number website / mobile application.

How will the World Tennis Number be calculated?

The World Tennis Number will be powered by a well-tested and objective mathematical calculation. It is based on the player’s performance in matches relative to the strength of their opponent.

The principles behind its calculation will be published for all players to see.

Sports technology experts, ClubSpark, have been selected to build the World Tennis Number digital platform.

Will there be separate World Tennis Numbers for singles and doubles?

Yes. There will be a separate World Tennis Number for doubles play alongside the singles number.

How can I get a World Tennis Number?

The World Tennis Number will be launched to players in late 2019 and at the start of 2020. The project will be rolled out on a country-by-country basis.

How often will my World Tennis number update?

The World Tennis Number will update on a regular basis (frequency to be confirmed).

Can other match results change my rating?

The World Tennis Number is calculated by assessing your match performances. If new results for your opponents are added or an opponent’s World Tennis Number changes significantly then your World Tennis Number may also change.

How do I get a World Tennis Number if I have no recorded matches?

Adults can take a short self-assessment to determine an appropriate starting level. As they play their rating will become more accurate based on verified match results. Children will need to play matches to receive a World Tennis Number.

What will the World Tennis Number look like?

The scale for the World Tennis Number is currently being modelled and refined by a team of data and system experts using a database of millions of match records. We will also be asking players around the world how they will want the World Tennis Number to evolve.

Simplicity and championing the concept of level-based play are the key objectives of the World Tennis Number project.

How will the World Tennis Number affect my national rating?

Where National Tennis Associations publish national ratings, these will be unaffected and will be complimentary to the World Tennis Number. Depending on the choice made by each National Association players might have both a national rating/ranking and a World Tennis Number, or the World Tennis Number may replace national rating/ranking systems currently in existence.

What opportunities could the World Tennis Number provide to ITF Circuits, including the World Tennis Tour?

The ITF recognises the potential of the World Tennis Number to assist in the entry process of ITF Circuit events, including events on the World Tennis Tour. This will be based on analysis of the appropriate data in due course and be subject to approval by the respective ITF Committees and the ITF Board of Directors.

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