CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story suggested the WTN went live in November. In fact the exact date and month has yest to be confirmed but it is expected to be in 2020
This is so exciting. The World Tennis Number, the rating system that will be adopted by the main tennis countries and their governing bodies (including the LTA) launches later this year. As you may recall, the whole project started with your tennis and the matches you play...
The big reveal this week from the ITF and the tennis authorities behind the new World Tennis Number is what a WTN number will look like.
WTN KEY POINTS
The WTN is based on a mathematical calculation with a high level of accuracy to reflect the playing standard of each player irrespective of where they play and which competitions they play in, with sets rather than just wins taken into account.
WTN is a dynamic system which enables the number to change on a regular basis to give a real time playing standard for each player.
WTN will be gender and age neutral (just like Local Tennis Leagues) and rates all players on the same scale.
A separate WTN will also be introduced for doubles players.
Potentially many more matches, at home and abroad, will be eligible for inclusion and LTL singles matches will count toward your WTN.
For more info, see the very informative FAQ page on the LTA website
Gone will be the familiar 10.2 to 1.1 scale that underpins BTM ratings. Instead novice players will start at 40 and rise through the ranks to 1. Each rating will run to one decimal place (eg, 32.1, 32.7 etc) which means the rating will have much more granularity built in. But perhaps the most important change of all, is that the new rating will be dynamic. Your rating could go up or down, and will do so with every match you play.
The WTN directly follows on from a joint project undertaken by Local Tennis Leagues and the LTA. The LTA is the governing body of the sport in the UK, an official partner of Local Tennis Leagues and our leagues are its approved format for adult competition.
It all started last year when the LTA funded a large-scale study of our match data. The aim was to see whether an algorithm could be developed that could be a guide to player performance and lead to the creation of an accurate player rating. The project, using anonymised data, was undertaken by Imperial College, London in conjunction with Local Tennis Leagues and the LTA.
“One of the drivers for the WTN came from the work we were doing with Local Tennis Leagues and the relationship proved very valuable, allowing us to test the theories with a coherent set of data in a real-world setting”, says LTA Head of Competitions, Keith Carder.
The WTN project is independent of Local Tennis Leagues but in a fashion similar to the work done with LTL, match data will be "based on a mathematical calculation with a high level of accuracy to reflect the playing standard of each player irrespective of where they play and which competitions they play in, with sets rather than just wins taken into account".