WTN vs Rankings

What is the difference between World Tennis Number (WTN) and Ranking

Not all players have the same standard and not all tournaments cater for the same level of players. This can make difficult deciding what tournament is the right one to enter. WTN and rankings can help to make that decision, once you become familiar with what they are and how they work. We provide details of the Rankings used in Ireland in a separate section, but from a practical point of view, we have summarized the main differences between both and show some examples.

The ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) value:

  • It is a type of rating, and it is similar to the golf handicap.
  • It takes into consideration the result of matches between players.
  • It provides an indication of the standard of a player.
  • It is globally used and is the same whatever country the player is playing in.
  • It is independent of the age or gender of a player. 
  • It helps to identify players of similar standard making easier to organize even matches between players anywhere in the world.

A ranking:

  • Indicates the position of a player within a given group. Example: an Irish U14 ranking indicates the position of a player in the U14 age group in Ireland.
  • It takes into consideration how far players progress in a draw and the Category previously allocated to that draw.
  • The position (ranking) of a player in the group depends on how strong the other players in the group are.
  • It is useful to compare players within the same group but cannot be transferred to other groups.
  • Tennis Ireland Junior Ranking is the main tool used to seed players in Junior tournaments.

Example 1

A player has a WTN=15.60, is ranked 4 in the Tennis Ireland U18 Junior Ranking but ranked 615 in the ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Rankings.

If he played a domestic tournament in Great Britain, he would get points towards a British Ranking, but the results would have no effect in his Irish or ITF Rankings. However, the British results would be uploaded to the ITF WTN database and used to update his WTN.

Example 2

An Irish U14 Ranking cannot be converted into a British U14 ranking. It would be hard to guess the British Ranking value equivalent to the player’s Irish Ranking.

However, his/her WTN may give a rough indication on where the player would be in the u14 British Ranking: He/she would be expected to have a ranking close to the ranking of players with a similar WTN.

Example 3

An Irish U16 player with a Tennis Ireland U16 Ranking of 13, that has not played National Tour tournaments and has no National Tour Ranking enters a National Tour event. What Grade/Class/Level should she play in? Her WTN will provide the information required in this case.

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