Saturday, July 11, 2020

ITF World Tennis Number Still Coming? Jubb Signs with Ellesse; Campaign to Save Winthrop Tennis, More College News

A year ago, the International Tennis Federation announced it was partnering with leading national tennis associations, including the USTA, to produce a World Tennis Number rating system. Of course, most everyone who has been around tennis the past five years is familiar with Universal Tennis Rating, which is basically the system that the ITF is reinventing. The sport of tennis is not known for its cooperation and coordination and this is just another example of that, but it's so frustrating, particularly now that the industry is facing so many challenges, to see time and money wasted on a project like this. It should be noted that Tennis Australia is not among the national associations endorsing this ITF initiative, and they have been a strategic partner with UTR since last year.

The announcement said the World Tennis Number would launch in individual countries in 2020, but I have yet to see any mention of it here in the United States, or anywhere else, for that matter. I don't expect the ITF to scrap this plan, but I can see it being put on the back burner while they give priority to more pressing issues.

The Frequently Asked Questions about the initiative can be found here.

2019 NCAA singles champion Paul Jubb, who will not be returning to the University of South Carolina for a fifth year, has signed a clothing deal with Ellesse. A few months ago, the 20-year-old from Great Britain signed with Andy Murray's 77 Sports Management company. Jubb will face another former collegiate star, TCU's Cameron Norrie, in tomorrow's final of Week 2 of the LTA's British Tour.

The campaign to save Winthrop Tennis has until Wednesday, July 15 to raise the money necessary to keep the men's and women's programs. See their gofundme page for details.

When I posted about associate head coach Aleke Tsoubanos switching places with head coach Geoff Macdonald at Vanderbilt, I mentioned how unusual it was, but I got a message saying that it had actually happened this year at Division III Middlebury as well. Coaching legend Bob Hansen will now be associate head coach for the Middlebury men, while former assistant Andrew Thomson will take over the head coaching position. Like Tsoubanos, a Vanderbilt alum, Thomson played at Middlebury before settling into his coaching career there.

The University of Texas has announced that All-American Anna Turati will return for her fifth year. Her twin sister Bianca announced earlier that she would not be returning for a second senior year.

Anastasia Astakhova of Kazakhstan has signed with Auburn.


Colin said...

UTR is useful but, like the tennisrecruiting rankings and star ratings, is proprietary. Thus, college coaches who use it do not fully understand the details of the metric they are using. So, a transparent metric would be nice.

The TR system is far more opaque, but UTR does occasionally tinker with their algorithm, which makes it difficult to judge over time. Still, UTR does a far better job of explaining what their algorithm is (I’ve actually been able to consistently calculate UTR from results to within less than .1, based on their description - but for a little weighting it’s not terribly complicated).

Jon King said...

That World Tennis Number announcement is comical to read. Its Universal Tennis Rating cloned. The ITF might as well just have been honest and said they did not like UTR taking over and decided to try and squash it with their own competing product.

ITF is too late, might as well embrace and join with UTR. A men's prize money UTR event in Boca this weekend had 115 men sign up. Another UTR-ITA event in 2 weeks at Palm Beach Atlantic already has 110 players with plenty of top juniors in the field.

UTR has so much momentum that both USTA and ITF need to worry that they have already lost control of competitive tennis tournaments.

Lakemd29 said...

When will TRN include UTR tournament results to its rating algorithm? If UTR results are not included then the TR ratings are skewed.

SeminoleG said...

@Lakemd29 - TRN ONLY considers Jr events. TRN also leaves out ITF WTT (lower level) Pro Events. So you could have a pro that has a wining record and be rated a 3 star. All because they have stopped playing Jr Events.