How to make the WTA rankings work

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit:sufw

The WTA rankings clearly DO NOT work!

What value should the winner have as compared to the defeated player? If winning makes all the difference in the world in a Grand Slam final then it should be reflected in the points’ allocation for each player’s rankings.

The highest number of ranking points a player can earn is by winning a Grand Slam singles title. The winner receives 2000 ranking points. The 2nd highest number of ranking points a player can earn is by being the runner-up in a Grand Slam tournament. The runner-up receives 1400 ranking points.

To make the rankings work, an absolute MINIMUM of a 2.5 to 1 ratio of points should be allocated to the winner of a Grand Slam event. Given 1400 is earned by the runner-up then 3500 should be given to the winner.

If this value correction was adopted by the WTA, Serena Williams would currently be the clear world No.1. The differential of 2100 points between the champion and the defeated player would represent a more realistic difference. It would dramatically reduce the possibility of being ranked No.1 without winning a Grand Slam title.

How many points do you think the runner-up would get? What value would you place on the difference between being the winner and the runner-up? Do you think that the runner-up holds 70% as much prestige and fame as the winner does? As unfortunate as it is, the phrase “nobody remembers the loser” often rings true.

The runner-up receives 70% of the amount of points that the winner does, therefore 1400 ranking points. 70% to the runner-up means a player earns 2800 points for twice making it to the final. So, this points allocation means the WTA is saying that 2 runner-up results in a Slam final is a greater result by a player than it is to actually win a Grand Slam title! That’s CLEARLY NOT the case.

Do you think a player who has made it to 2 finals and lost both times will hold a higher place in the history of the game than a player who does actually win a Grand Slam title? I really don’t think so. For instance, Michael Chang’s position in the game’s history would be greater in most people’s view than would dual runner-up Alex Corretja’s.

The performances at the most prestigious and biggest events in the world should make all the difference.  Unless the WTA Tour makes a huge effort into promoting and educating the tennis world about the how important the other 10 major women’s tournaments each year, then this seems like the 2nd best solution.

Today’s POST is dedicated to 2 players: the Great Arthur Ashe and Virginia Wade, who as well as their birthday, shared a number of achievements in common.

Ashe was born on this day in 1943 and won 3 Grand Slam singles titles (1968 US Open, 1970 Australian Open and 1975 Wimbledon). His highest ranking of No.2 was first achieved on May 2, 1976.

Wade was born on this day in 1945 and also won 3 Grand Slam singles titles (1968 US Open, 1972 Australian Open and 1977 Wimbledon). Her highest ranking of No.2 was first achieved on November 3, 1975.

© 2009




  1. The rankings system is actually designed to “MAKE MONEY”… If they don’t make enough money they will have to close the doors… If you are looking for injustice, then just consider, that the rankings are based on your best 16 outing (in the last year)… You can play 28 or move events, and then drop the 12 that you didn’t get past the first round…… What the heck is that about? Oh ya, that’s right. Making money. You have got to get the girls to play… Anyway,,, the ranking system IS actually completely fair.. Out of the top 100 players,,,,, 100 of them know exactly how it works……..

  2. I think Serena should be ranked No.1 because she won 3 out of 4 Grand Slams. Safina hasn’t won any yet.

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