Elo Ratings: Women’s clay-court standings

Published by Stephanie Kovalchik

Simona Halep will be trying to win her first Grand Slam title at the French Open; Getty Images
Heading into the clay-court season, Simona Halep leads the way among WTA players in the Elo standings for the surface.
She has the form but not yet the major title – so who is likely to challenge Simona Halep over the clay-court season?
Elo ratings are an alternative to more traditional rankings, aimed at giving a greater insight into a player’s performance ability.
> Men’s Elo Rankings: Who is leading the chase behind Nadal on clay?
They factor in every professional match a player has played in their career, taking into account the level of the opponent, the difficulty of the match and whether it took place at tour level or at a Grand Slam.
When adjusted for specific surfaces, they still take into account all of a player’s matches but weigh those on the chosen surface more heavily.
Elo Clay Ranking Player Elo Clay Rating
1 Simona Halep 2195.9
2 Serena Williams 2164.4
3 Elina Svitolina 2155.3
4 Garbine Muguruza 2091.4
5 Caroline Wozniacki 2090.3
6 Petra Kvitova 2090.2
7 Venus Williams 2076.3
8 Angelique Kerber 2072.4
9 Daria Kasatkina 2071.6
10 Jelena Ostapenko 2055.4
11 Sloane Stephens 2051.3
12 Maria Sharapova 2043.9
13 Karolina Pliskova 2043.1
14 Svetlana Kuznetsova 2040.8
15 Timea Bacsinszky 2009.8
16 Caroline Garcia 2004.8
17 Agnieszka Radwanska 2001.4
18 Madison Keys 1989.3
19 Carla Suarez Navarro 1988.2
20 Julia Goerges 1974.8
21 Laura Siegemund 1974.4
22 Anastasija Sevastova 1970.1
23 Dominika Cibulkova 1968.7
24 Lucie Safarova 1967.2
25 Ekaterina Makarova 1967.0
26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1952.1
27 Naomi Osaka 1951.2
28 Kiki Bertens 1949.5
29 Sam Stosur 1948.0
30 Daria Gavrilova 1946.7

(April 2nd Elo rankings for players who have competed in the last two years)

How do Elo ratings work?

  • Elo ratings are already used in many other sports and when applied to tennis they outperform other published prediction methods, including those based on offical rankings.
  • Elo ratings factor in all main draw singles matches above the Challenger level.
  • Elo is smart about how many points are won or lost. If a player did more than expected in earning a win against a strong opponent, they earn more points than for an easy win. If a player underperformed by getting upset, they lose more points than for losing to an equal opponent.
  • Elo ratings can be surface-adjusted, taking into account all of a player’s matches, but weighing those on the specific surface more heavily.
  • Elo ratings of players absent from competition for more than three months are deducted 100 points. Walkovers and retirements are excluded.
  • Players earn/lose more points for results over the same opponents at Grand Slams compared to lower-level tournaments.

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