ATP Tour Men’s Tennis Rankings System

OnCourt Advantage is writing today for fellow Official Australian Open FAN-bassador Grand Slam Gal. You can read my explanation of how the men’s ATP Tour world rankings work here -> ATP Men’s Tennis Rankings Explained.

The ATP ranking system is really quite complex with a large number of variables that can make the rankings system hard to understand or follow. However, there are certainly some major critical factors that once understood will give you a strong grasp of how the rankings are calculated.

It would be great if you could show your support for Grand Slam Gal by leaving a comment and/or by following Mel on Twitter @GrandSlamGal and her trusty sidekick Andrew @BallBoy2012. To check out the current Top 10 men’s ATP Tour rankings click here-> Men’s World Rankings.

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In order to make it easy for YOU to find all of the 2012 Australian Open information posted by OnCourt Advantage in one quick and easy place, I have listed and index for you to select from right here-> Australian Open 2012 Tennis.

The Australian Open Men’s defending singles champion Novak DJOKOVIC is pictured above in the forward swing phase for his best stroke, his double-handed backhand drive at the 2011 US Open. The 1.88m Djokovic defeated David Ferrer in the 2012 Australian Open quarter finals 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in 2 hours and 44 minutes. Djokovic became the 25th ATP World No.1 since computerised rankings were introduced in August 1973 the day after winning his first Wimbledon title (4 July 2011).

The 24-year-old Serbian set up a rematch of the 2011 Australian Open final against Andy Murray in the semi finals on Friday 27 January at 7:30pm Melbourne time. Djokovic is going for his third Australian Open Singles title after winning in 2008 and in 2011. Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam singles titles in 2011 in one of the best seasons by any player in the Open-era of tennis.



  1. Hi Josh,

    I wrote the article you commented on for Grand Slam Gal as a guest post. Firstly, thank you for leaving a comment. To answer your question their is not really any literature available that I am aware of. However, it REALLY is a very interesting subject. I would be happy to assist you with information you require.

    I have always wanted to write a series of articles about strengths and weaknesses of the ATP ranking system. In addition, supply opinions of how I think the ranking system could be improved. So your interest in this subject could be the catalyst for an ATP ranking series appearing on OnCourt Advantage some time in the very near future!

    Please let me know if you would like to any further details or if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards,


  2. Hi Cindy,

    I wrote the article you commented on for Grand Slam Gal as a guest post. Firstly, thank you for leaving a comment. To answer your question: this is NOT true for any of the mandatory tournaments that MUST be included in a player’s ranking points tally e.g. the Grand Slams and the Masters 1000 events.

    Further details:

    Rafael Nadal lost his No.1 ranking to Novak Djokovic after he lost the 2011 Wimbledon final to Djokovic. The points ALWAYS count towards your ranking if they are part of the best 18.

    Next, it is not that the points don’t count it is just that the points earned at Wimbledon 2010 for Nadal when he won are replaced with what he earns the next year i.e. in 2011. For Nadal’s case he earned 2,000 ATP ranking points in 2010 and they were part of his ranking UNTIL Wimbledon was completed 1 year later i.e. at 2011 Wimbledon. As the runner-up Nadal earned 1,200 ATP ranking points. These 1,200 points do count but he loses 800 points because he did not defend his title and thus did not defend his 2,000 points.

    Djokovic on the other hand lost in the semi finals in 2010 and earned 720 points. Winning Wimbledon in 2011 earned him 2,000 points. In summary, Djokovic gained 1,280 points at the same time as Nadal lost 800 points. This adds up to 2,080 points that Djokovic caught up on Nadal from Wimbledon, which was more points than Nadal’s ranking points lead was on Djokovic.
    Therefore, Djokovic’s ranking points total overtook Nadal’s total and that is why Djokovic became No.1.

    Please let me know if you would like to any further details or if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards,


  3. Comment by Josh on Grand Slam Gal’s website about my guest post:

    Hey OnCourtAdvantage,

    I am a college tennis player in my last semester of school. I am taking a Senior Seminar Economics/Finance class and have to develop a thesis paper with literature review and the whole nine yards. I am contemplating researching the ATP ranking/seeding system and its flaws. Would you be able to direct me towards literature on the subject.

    Thank you in advance,


  4. Comment by Cindy on Grand Slam Gal’s website about my guest post:

    What I don’t understand, (this happened when Nadal lost his first place ranking I believe). Since he had won the previous year tournament, and won it again the next year, the points did not count toward any ranking. Is that true for all tournaments or just that one?

  5. Thanks for writing the article OnCourt Advantage, I knew that I didn’t fully understand the ATP ranking system but now it makes a lot more sense.

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