Tennis’s new Number adds up

by Stephen Findlater
0 comment

MONKSTOWN’S Conor Gannon, Donnybrook’s Juliana Carton, Sutton’s Aisling O’Connor and Malahide’s Sarah O’Connor were all among the lucky players to help launch the Irish leg of the new ITF World Tennis Number rating system.

The new ranking method is being rolled out worldwide with Ireland among the early adopters of the system with over 100 nations signed up, accounting for 68 million players.

It is a single global tennis rating for all players, regardless of age, ability or gender – from the world’s elite to a player taking part in their first competition or playing socially in their club.

To launch the new system, a pilot event was run at the National Tennis Centre in DCU last Friday and Saturday with men’s and women’s players from both the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup panels. 

This first event allowed for the ITF World Tennis Number to be tried and tested in real time whilst allowing players the opportunity to improve their own rating and gain some valuable competition time.

For Gannon – who is off to University of Tennessee on a scholarship in the autumn – he ran up three impressive wins, starting with a 7-5, 7-5 success against Jordan McKeown and a 6-4, 7-5 result against Daniel Moloney.

Pictured is Conor Gannon ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

He completed his weekend with a thrilling win over Peter Bothwell 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 on Saturday.

“It was really good fun, getting back out and competing,” Gannon said of the chance to get out and play. “Tennis Ireland did a brilliant job to keep within the guidelines and keep everyone safe out here.”

Carton also had an impressive weekend, beating Sarah O’Connor 6-3, 6-0 and Olwyn Ryan Bovey 6-3, 6-2.

On Saturday, she finished off with a 6-2, 7-6 three-hour battle against Aisling O’Connor.

For both, the wins will be factored into their overall “number”.

The World Tennis Number will see players given a rating from 40 to 1, with recreational players starting close to 40 and the professionals being close to 1.

The aim is to allow players to be grouped with other well-matched opponents, providing more appropriate and enjoyable competition for the players taking part whilst also driving player development and participation.

The hope is to further support venues, coaches and officials in setting up competitions, and will allow new formats to be run for players of all standards. 

All players across the country, and all clubs affiliated to Tennis Ireland will get the benefit of this game changing rating system for free.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

PHOTOS BY ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Related Articles