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Tennis Australia is partnering with Universal Tennis in new ways in 2022 to impact all levels of play. Australia's upcoming Summer Competitive Play Calendar will adopt the UTR Rating across all events, replacing its existing ranking and rating system.
“We’re excited to extend and expand our partnership with Universal Tennis to deliver the new rating system to support player development and all forms of competitive play in Australia,” Tennis Australia Chief Tennis Officer Tom Larner said. “Since beginning our partnership with Universal Tennis in January 2019, they have been pivotal in helping tennis to open up more opportunities for both the everyday player and performance athlete in a time highly affected by the pandemic.”
Tennis Australia Launches Competitive Play
Tennis Australia is ushering in a new era of tennis competition in 2022 with a Competitive Play calendar that offers level-based playing opportunities for everyone. The UTR Rating will power all forms of Competitive Play to determine ability and to help parents and coaches better identify the events and leagues best aligned to their player's level.
The new Competitive Play push includes a New Aspirational Player Pathway that guides young players from picking up the sport all the way to playing in Grand Slams. The Pathway features junior leagues and events, money events, college tennis, and the pro tour, including UTR Pro Tennis Tour, ITF, WTA, and ATP events.
The UTR Rating will be incrementally introduced into selected inter-club, league, and team tennis offerings throughout 2022 as the National Ratings System is also gradually phased out.
Research Confirms Desire for One Rating
In a project called Tennis Australia Blueprint that began in August 2020, Tennis Australia reviewed the competitive framework for the long-term health of Australian tennis with feedback from the community. As a result of the research, one of the major changes implemented in 2022 is the replacement of rankings with the UTR Rating.
“Transitioning to a single rating system will provide improved level-based play for players of all ages and abilities," Larner said. "The introduction of the UTR Rating system alongside other changes outlined in the Blueprint is all focused on creating a positive playing environment conducive to improvements in the player experience and the development of skills."
The UTR system rates all players – professional, collegiate, junior, and recreational – on the same 16-point scale, regardless of age, gender, or location. The Universal Tennis algorithm calculates a player’s UTR Rating based on a player’s 30 most recent results within the past 12 months, the number of games they win in those matches, and the strength of their opponent.
A player’s UTR Rating reflects their “current skill level based on actual performance” and allows players to compete locally while having their results count globally, which is of particular importance to players based in Australia. Adopting UTR Rating will boost level-based competition and increase engagement with the sport across all levels in all corners of Australia.
“We’re excited to see more players, playing more tennis, more of the time with regular opportunities to test themselves against the best within their state and across the country,” Larner said.