International Transactions in Operational Research

Using official ratings to simulate major tennis tournaments

Journal Article


While the official Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) computer tennis rankings are used to seed players in tournaments, they are not used to predict a player's chance of winning. However, since the rankings are derived from a points rating, an estimate of each player's chance in a head to head contest can be made from the difference in the players' rating points. Using a year's tournament results, a logistic regression model was fitted to the ATP ratings, to estimate the chance of winning as a function of the difference in rating points. Once the draw for a tournament is available, the resultant probabilities can be used in a simulation to estimate each player's chance of victory. The method was applied to the 1998 Men's Wimbledon, 1998 Men's US Open and the 1999 Men's Australian tennis championships.

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