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Credit: Tennis Ireland Competitions Team
Credit: Tennis Ireland Competitions Team

Tennis Ireland embraces the ITF World Tennis Number

3 min read
ITF World Tennis Number

The ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) stands as a revolutionary force in the realm of tennis, effectively bridging gaps among players of different ages, genders, and skill levels. Driven by a cutting-edge algorithm and drawing insights from millions of match results, the ITF World Tennis Number provides accurate real-time skill ratings for every player.

Backed by over 160 national and regional associations, the ITF is steadfast in its mission to make the World Tennis Number accessible to players worldwide. Currently embraced by 1.7 million players, the ITF World Tennis Number ensures globally seamless matchups, simplifying the quest for the perfect opponent.

Today, we turn our attention to Tennis Ireland, where over 35,000 players are already reaping the benefits of the ITF World Tennis Number programme.

What is Tennis Ireland saying?

“Tennis Ireland believes that the ITF World Tennis Number will change tennis across the island of Ireland, making level-based competition more accessible and improving competition for all ages. We have already seen great improvements in seeding for adult open tournaments and we hope to extend this in the future to all age grades, with the ongoing support of the ITF WTN team and continued improvements in the WTN algorithm.

“The World Tennis Number will be hugely beneficial for new or returning tennis players to help us grow the number of players competing, as well as the improved level of competition for all standards.

“We thank the WTN team for their continuous and collaborative engagement on this important initiative and taking on our feedback.”

Kevin Quinn, CEO, Tennis Ireland

What impact has the ITF World Tennis Number had on Irish Tennis?

Tennis Ireland values the ITF’s free global rating system and their support in its rollout. Given Ireland’s small player pool, the WTN accelerates access to international draws. Sparing players from beginning at the lowest level. This has notably aided junior players, enhancing match experiences and boosting participation in the USA or UK, the WTN guarantees precise representation in the Irish National Ranking for adults, streamlining seeding and tournament acceptance.

How has the ITF World Tennis Number helped drive participation in Ireland?

The World Tennis Number has significantly impacted Adult and Masters tennis tournaments in Ireland by standardising language, categorising events, and providing easy access to match results on the ITF WTN database, with over 1,700 events and 42,000 players. This system facilitates event management and encourages greater participation. Tennis Ireland has introduced a table recommending WTN values for seven skill levels, enhancing member engagement in activities like Round Robins based on WTN levels.

What has the feedback been like from players?

As the ITF World Tennis Number continues to enhance its accuracy, supported by an increasing volume of match results, players are expressing growing trust and confidence in the system. Comparable to how golfers reply on their handicaps, players now discuss their WTN as they set personal improvement goals, with some aiming to achieve a 1.0 development in a 6-month period.

Will you be using the ITF World Tennis Number for tournament acceptance criteria moving forward?

We are incorporating the WTN alongside acceptance and seeding rankings in Open (Adult) and Masters tournaments. We are closely monitoring its progress and expect it to soon become the primary tool for approval and acceptance order for adult tournaments. Additionally, Tennis Ireland are introducing workshops for parents and players, alongside monitoring values in Junior players.

How do you see the ITF World Tennis Number evolving in Ireland?

The WTN is set to play a pivotal role in evaluating players’ skills across various Irish leagues, be it in clubs or schools. It will serve as the official indicator of a players’ skill level. Moreover, its widespread adoption is expected to boost the participation of players in the sport, as it ensures fair and enjoyable matches at all levels, ultimately promoting player engagement and retention. Additionally, the WTN will serve as the primary tool for monitoring and assessing player improvement.

Answers provided by Tennis Ireland Competitions Team.