By Jürgen Fritz, Mo. 26. Apr 2021, Cover picture: © JFB
In recent months, the ATP Ranking has repeatedly come in for criticism. The points system, which has been heavily modified due to the long pandemic break in play from March to August 2020, is said to be distorting, illogical, unfair and hardly understandable. JFB therefore developed a different scoring system that only takes into account results from the last 52 weeks, is less tendentious, more appropriate and quite simple to understand.
The ATP system is inadequate, distorting, unfair and extremely difficult to understand
From the beginning of March to the end of August 2020, the ATP Tour had to take a break for almost 25 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After play finally resumed on 22 August with the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati, which was moved to New York, the ATP ranking, which normally only takes into account results from the last 52 weeks, had to be modified. But the modification was then extended and modified again and again in the coming months. In the meantime, hardly anyone understands how the system works, it seems distorting, illogical and unfair. Above all, it makes it difficult for younger players, who struggle week after week to get to the top, even if they play very well, to move up in the rankings. The ATP ranking reflects less and less the true situation from month to month.
For example, Roger Federer has won only one match since the resumption of play in August 2020 or 52 weeks ago, namely his round of 16 match at the E tournament in Doha (ATP 250) and Gael Monfils even zero. Monfils has played in six tournaments since August 2020 and lost his first match every time. His match record in the last 52 weeks is 0-6. Monfils has not earned a single world ranking point in a year, yet the ATP lists him at No. 15. Federer is even at No. 8 with a 52-week match record of 1-1.
Young players, such as 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, on the other hand, are playing very successfully but are hardly moving up in the rankings. Musetti has won a total of 23 matches on the Challenger Tour since August 2020, 6 in the qualifying rounds of ATP tournaments and 13 there in the main draw, earning a total of 42 victories. In the ATP Ranking, however, he is only on position 83 (in the 2021 ATP Single Race on 30 and in the JFB Ranking, however, he is already on position 31).
And this is how the JFB ranking works
That’s why I’ve spent the last few weeks developing a different, and I think better, Tennis World Ranking. And this one works quite simply:
- The 18 best results of the last 52 weeks are taken into account, regardless of the tournament. There are no requirements, as in the ATP ranking, that, for example, the Grand Slam and ATP Masters 1000 tournaments are counted even if the player is eliminated in the first round or does not even compete.
- No tournament is counted twice if it is played two times within 52 weeks. Only the last result counts then.
- The period may be extended minimally if a tournament is played one or two weeks later than in the previous year due to postponements. However, the period will not be extended to 60, 80 or even over 100 weeks, or even to 156, as the ATP does for some tournaments (so the ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells 2019, the ATP Masters 1000 Miami 2019, the ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo 2019, the ATP Masters 1000 Madrid 2019, Halle 2019, Wimbledon 2019, Washington 2019, the ATP Masters 1000 Canada 2019 …)
- There are no points just for showing up, as the ATP does for Grand Slam and Masters 1000 tournaments (10 points). Only those who win a match receive points. Those who lose their very first match, whether in round one or two, receive zero points.
The points are also awarded differently than in the ATP ranking. The four Grand Slam tournaments (A) together are certainly not less important than the nine Masters 1000 events (C), but on the contrary somewhat more valuable. Therefore, the A tournaments are weighted 25 per cent higher than in the ATP ranking. Four victories at the Grand Slam tournaments therefore bring 4000 points, whereas nine victories at the ATP Masters 1000, now ATP Masters 400, bring 3600 points. Likewise, the ATP Finals (B), which are held only once a year and form the crowning finale of the ATP season, are weighted somewhat higher. A victory here, depending on whether you remain undefeated, counts two-thirds to three-quarters as much as a Grand Slam triumph, just as it does in the ATP rankings. In addition, players‘ results in the important Olympic Games (B, not organised by the ATP) and the most traditional team competition (T), the Davis Cup (not organised by the ATP, but by the ITF), which has been held since 1900, are evaluated and taken into account.
The tournament winners receive the following points
Tournament winners receive the following point totals for winning a tournament:
- Grand Slam tournaments (A): 1000 points
- Olympic Games (B) and ATP Finals (B): 750 points. If the winner of the ATP Finals has won only two of his three group matches, then 660 points
- ATP Masters 1000 (C) become Masters 400: 400 points
- Davis Cup (team competition): up to a maximum of 400 points
- ATP Cup (team competition): up to a maximum of 300 points
- ATP 500 (D) becomes ATP 200: 200 points
- ATP 250 (E) becomes ATP 100: 100 points
- ATP Challenger Tour tournaments are ranked accordingly, i.e. Challenger 125 tournaments become Challenger 50, Challenger 100 becomes Challenger 40, Challenger 50 becomes Challenger 20 etc. So the winners of the highest Challenger events get 50 points, those of the lowest 20 points.
- Winners in ITF Future Tour tournaments receive 15 (M25 category) and 10 points respectively (M15 category).
And this is how points are awarded for the finalists, semi-finalists, quarter-finalists etc.
The greatest thing in tennis is a final in a Grand Slam tournament. This is a 400-point match in the JFB ranking. The finals in the Olympic Games and in the ATP Finals are 300 point matches, the semi-final of a Grand Slam is a 250 point match, the final in an ATP Masters event is a 160 point match, and so on.
The maximum possible score is 10,000 points, in years without Olympic Games 9,450
The maximum possible score for the 18 best results in the past 52 weeks is 10,000 points in years with Olympic Games, 9,450 points in all other years:
- 4 x 1000 (Grand Slams) = 4,000
- + 750 (Olympic Games)
- + 750 (ATP Finals)
- + 9 x 400 (ATP Masters) = 3,600
- + 400 (all Davis Cup victories)
- + 300 (all ATP Cup victories)
- + 200 (ATP 500)
In years without the Olympics, the 18th result can be topped up by a D tournament (200 instead of 750 points). In non-Olympic years, a player can therefore score a maximum of 9,450 points.
In the ATP ranking a maximum of 21,000 points is possible. The highest score ever was achieved on 6 June 2016. At that time, Novak Djokovic reached 16,950 points in the ATP Ranking. In the JFB ranking, including the points for Djokovic’s victories in the Davis Cup, that was just over 7,700 points. That was 81 ot 82 per cent of the maximum possible score of 9,450 (there were no Olympic Games in the 52 weeks before).
Normally about 4,000 to 5,500 points in 52 weeks are enough to be No. 1 in the world. And 1,600 to 1,800 points usually puts you in the top eight that qualify for the ATP Finals at the end of the season. As you can see, the top seven up to Zverev are already in this range, although there are still four months to go before the first year since the tour resumed on 22 August 2020 is complete. These seven are virtually playing in a league of their own and Alexander Zverev can pass Thiem this week if he reaches the final of the E tournament in Munich (60 points).
The JFB 52 Week Ranking at 26.04.2021
So you can see here: JFB 52 Weeks Ranking – ATP Ranking – Player – Age – Country (Nationality) – Tournaments played – Win-Loss – Titles – Points … in the last 52 weeks.
The category Tournaments played actually indicates the tournaments played in the last 52 weeks and is not, as with the ATP, a constructed number in which tournaments are counted in which a player did not compete at all, but in the opinion of the ATP should have competed. Listed are all professional tournaments in which a player actually competed in the last 52 weeks, not only Grand Slam and ATP tournaments, but also Challenger and Future tournaments.
The Win-Loss section also includes all wins and losses in the last 52 weeks, including those in Challenger, Future and Qualifying tournaments, in order to have a real overview of how many matches the players have played. And in Titles, all tournament wins in the last 52 weeks in men’s professional tournaments are actually listed, also in the team competitions (T) of the Davis Cup and ATP Cup and in Challenger (F, G, H) and Future tournaments (I).
No longer in the Top 30
The following players – based on their results in the last 52 weeks – are no longer in the top 30:
- Roger Federer: No. 8 in the ATP Ranking, 39.7 years old, 45 points
- Gael Monfils: No. 15 in the ATP Ranking, 34.6 years, 0 points
- Stan Wawrinka: No. 21 in the ATP Ranking, 36.0 years, 267 points
- Christian Garin: No. 25 in the ATP Ranking, 24.9 years, 300 points
- Fabio Fognini: No. 28 in the ATP Ranking, 33.9 years, 300 points
- Taylor Fritz: No. 30 in the ATP Ranking, 23.4 years, 316 points
Christian Garin plays in Estoril (E) this week and can score more points there. Shapovalov (15), Humbert (27), Davidovic Fokina (28) and Bublik (30) also plays in Estoril. Alexander Zverev (7) already needs three wins at the E tournament in Munich to overtake Dominic Thiem and move up to 6. Ruud (16) and young US-Star Korda (29) also plays in München.
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