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.
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
||Elo Clay Rating
||Carla Suarez Navarro
(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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