Each year, the ATP World Tour establishes a list of players who perform the best throughout the season. These players are awarded different rankings depending on how well they performed in each tournament and ranking point allocation for their performances.
The world’s No. 1 ranked player is the one who accumulates the most points over that period and his standing depends on how many points he manages to earn.
How does protected ranking work?
Injuries, illnesses, and other events that prevent a player from participating in tournaments can affect the ranking of a player tremendously. To protect players from having their rankings affected too much by such events, ATP has introduced the concept of ‘protected rankings’.
It works as: If a player wants to stop competing for a certain period of time, he will be able to retain his current spot in the rankings by playing in fewer tournaments than usual. That way, when players return after their recesses, they don’t experience the full effect of having lost points while they were away. Instead, protected ranking basically freezes the number of points that the player had at the time of the break.
If a player decides to take an extended break, his ranking will continue to be protected for as long as he doesn’t play more than the ‘number of events’ indicated by ATP.
For example, if a player wants to stop playing until after Wimbledon in 2015, he can do so without losing any rankings points as long as he doesn’t play more than 15 events (he would lose however the year-end bonus points which take effect after each tournament, but those don’t influence rankings for this season).
However, if a player decides to return sooner and still wants to protect his ranking, he will need to play in at least 10 events.
Players automatically lose their protected ranking if they fail to play 10 ATP-sponsored tournaments in a year or reach age 28 (whichever comes first).
How are ATP rankings calculated?
Players start with 1000 points, and points are added or subtracted based on how much they win or lose to other players.
The point distribution is:
Loss: -0- (zero)
In a typical 128-player draw, the winner earns 1590 points while the loser gets 210. The loser loses 180 points for losing in the first round.
The points are awarded based on how far a person gets to go in the tournament. The most points are given to the winner of most tournaments, then less to round 2 losers, round 3 losers, etc.
For example, winning a tournament typically gives you 1500 base points plus 500 for winning it. Another person might win the same tournament but with a better draw and thus only have to win five matches to do so. They would typically get 1225 base points plus 375 for winning it.
The next round losers typically receive 525 plus 187.5, round three losers receive 310 plus 105, etc., although those numbers can change if there are different tiebreakers.
The ATP calculates rankings for nine weeks at a time, ending one week before the Masters’ tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, and Rome) and the tour finals.
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