Tennis Malaysia (TM) officially introduced the new ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) — a comprehensive, universal rating system — in Malaysia today. Pic: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Tennis Malaysia (TM) officially introduced the new ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) — a comprehensive, universal rating system — in Malaysia today (Dec 10).

Malaysia is only the third nation in Asia after Singapore and Kazakhstan to implement the WTN system.

A player’s WTN is calculated using an algorithm. Data from a player will be logged into the algorithm after each match he or she plays.

Their ratings will be based on a 40-point scale with 40 being akin to a beginner while 1 is similar to that of a professional.

A player’s rating will allow him or her to gauge their own level of ability to their counterparts across the globe and thus be eligible to compete in matches or tournaments suited to their level internationally.

TM president Mirzan Mahathir said the implementation of WTN will help boost the growth of the game domestically and open more doors internationally for Malaysian players.

“WTN is good because you have the potential to design tournaments for players with specific skill levels, for example for those with a WTN rating of between 20-30 and so on,” said Mirzan during the launch in Kuala Lumpur today.

“It will also allow for mixed gender tournament which is a great development tool especially for the girls.

“There are not as many female players as there are male here, so now they can also play against males who have similar skill level.

“It will also help Malaysian players have more opportunities to secure scholarships or places in universities abroad. For example, universities in the United States now look at WTN numbers to see if a player meets their standards.

“As for the local ranking system, it will still be based on ranking points collected from playing on the circuit.

“Seeding for such tournaments will, however, also take into account a player’s WTN rating from now on.”

ITF Development Officer for Southeast Asia and East Asia, Jonathan Stubbs, said the introduction of WTN is intended to further grow the game’s popularity worldwide.

“I think it (WTN) is a huge change. Before this, we did have a similar system but it was based on one person evaluating a player’s ability so it was quite subjective,” said Stubbs at the launch.

“This is, however, algorithm-based and is completely objective.

“There are so many things you could do with it. As a Malaysian you could go to London and get a game tomorrow (against someone with similar rating).

“We already have 80 per cent of the world’s (tennis) population on board and slowly over the next year we are going to see some big changes.”

Leading tennis-playing nations such as the United States, Britain, Denmark and Ireland have implemented the system. – NST

Article from: New Straits Times