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How a Tennis Ranking is NOT the whole Truth of Top 10 Tennis Players

Alcaraz won Indian Wells. Sinner won Miami. Medvedev showed up in the Finals and Semi-Finals respectively. Djokovic fell in the 3rd Round of Indian Wells and opted out of Miami. Sinner fell to Alcaraz in the semi-finals of Indian Wells whilst Alcaraz fell to Dimitrov in the Quarter-Finals of Miami. Dimitrov made the Finals in Miami and fell to Medvedev in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells. Zverev made the Semi-Finals in Miami and the Quarter-Finals at Indian Wells.

Swiatek won Indian Wells and fell in the Round of 16 at Miami. Sabalenka fell in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells and the 3rd Round in Miami. Gauff made the Semi-Finals in Indian Wells and fell in the Round of 16 at Miami. Sakkari made the Final at Indian Wells and fell in the Quarter-Finals to Rybakina in Miami. Pegula lost in the 2nd Round at Indian Wells and made the Quarter-Finals in Miami. Rybakina opted out of Indian Wells and made the Finals of Miami. Collins fell in the 2nd Round to Swiatek at Indian Wells before winning Miami. 

Are you keeping pace? By simple deduction, the rankings are wrong.

The truth of the matter is that when we narrow our focus on the current crop of Top 10 players they simply are not holding their own on a consistent basis. These cyclical performances that afford pre-conditioned peak performance outcomes are off the mark for many. But these primary players offer a glimpse into these fluctuations — back to back performances and their subsequent results. A very simple snapshot of the Top 4 to 5 players on the ATP and WTA tours at this moment in time.

But there’s more than meets the eye. Recall the 8% and those susceptible to regressing — denoted by the 2%. And here, it’s a small window that affords a glimpse into these rulers that govern the best tennis players in the world.

And that’s important. It’s a snapshot of this period of the calendar year. After all, Sabalenka won the opening Grand Slam of the season and hasn’t been able to live up to the hype. Swiatek on the other hand has continued to outperform and gain further traction with her ranking. The Australian Open Finalist — Zheng, has yet to showcase the same level of play despite her Top 10 ranking. This is one of many snippets that show a current flaw in the rankings. Meanwhile, Collins is outside the Top 10 and almost inside the Top 20 after her Miami title and yet continues to outperform 50% of the Top 10

Go figure. Numbers don’t lie. But also only tell half the truth.

Alcaraz has been backing it up with Top 2 to Top 8 performances or greater. Sinner is Top 2 and Top 4 respectively, or greater. Djokovic is out of the equation when considering these metrics. Medvedev is Top 2 and Top 4 but does’t receive as much hype as deserved. Zverev is Top 4 and Top 8 whilst Dimitrov is Top 2 and Top 16. And that’s the reality of the cutoff. Both Rudd and De Minaur are Top 16 and Top 16 — just scaling inside.

Swiatek is Top 2 and Top 16, or greater. Sabalenka is Top 16 and null (given that 16 is the marker here for inclusion if coupled with a greater performance). Gauff is Top 4 and Top 16. Sakkari is Top 2 and Top 8. Pegula is null and Top 8. Rybakina is null and Top 2. Collins is null and Top 2, or greater. Navarro is Top 8 and Top 16.

Therefore the ATP tour is led by Sinner who is followed by Medvedev, then Alcaraz, Zverev and Dimitrov before Rudd and De Minaur. That rounds out the Top 7 followed by Djokovic simply because he deserves inclusion. And remember, Sinner won the Australian Open and Medvedev was the Finalist. Both are living up to the hype.

The WTA tour is led by Sakkari followed by Swiatek. However, there is reason for slight caution here as Sakkari has only recently found her Top 10 form again whereby Swiatek has been a trailblazer ever since her early exit at the Australian Open. On this basis, there’s greater leverage to note Swiatek — alongside her current ranking, to be followed by Sakkari (although in reality, Sakkari would sit closer to 5). Gauff follows before Navarro if consistency is the name of the game. Rybakina, Collins, Pegula and Sabalenka follow. However, there is a significant level of ambiguity here as other players ranked outside the Top 10 did make the Round of 16 or greater but only the mentioned players are 1) inside the Top 10, or 2) made the Finals and/or 3) had Top 16 or greater results in back to back tournaments. It’s a tough bar but reasonable for someone with the caliber of a Top 10 player.

But why aren’t all Top 10 players included?

By deduction, Swiatek, Sakkari, Gauff and Navarro are the most consistent players across both events. In contrast, that’s 4 WTA players who have consistently been performing — 3 inside the WTA Top 10, whereby 7 have been consistently performing on the ATP tour with 5 inside the ATP Top 10 before and after these events, whereby Dimitrov is now ranked back inside the Top 10, De Minaur was and now has been pushed outside the Top 10.

On the WTA tour, Pegula (5), Jabeur (6), Zheng (8), Vondrousova (9) and Ostenpenko (10) round out the Top 10. With Rybakina’s Finalist result coupled with her performances so far this season, although she trails Swiatek, both of these players have a level of play that exceeds their fellow Top 10 on a consistent basis. Sakkari has the recent results but it’s a matter of consistency. Ostenpenko did have the results but has not performed the past two events to her new baseline (capacity). Pegula follows whilst Jabeur, Zheng and Vondrousova have not lived up to their respective rankings this season with the exception for Zheng with her Finalist result.

On the ATP tour, Sinner has earned his place as the new No. 2 whilst Djokovic undoubtedly holds onto the No. 1. Alcaraz is then firm at No. 3 and is closely followed by Medvedev. Both 2 and 3 will continue to be interchanged unless Medvedev claims another Grand Slam and/or Djokovic takes a hiatus for a few months. Zverev holds his place at No. 5. Rublev, Rune and Hurkacz round out the Top 10 and these players have not been living up to their ranking expectations over this snapshot — period in time (as in now, 2024 — primarily the month of March).

Interestingly, the ATP has a more consistent level of play in the Top 5 whereby the WTA holds true to its Top 4 with Sakkari still inside the Top 10. There are null newcomers to consider on the ATP with standout wins (per the set inclusion). In contrast, the WTA has Collins with the Miami title and Navarro with a greater level of consistency than >50% of the current Top 10 — again, over this snapshot.

The truth therefore is not entirely in the rankings.

But rankings take time and consistency. I’d argue then (along with the data) that if the Top 10 was placed on a performance scale with room for slight fluctuations and a Round of 16 result a prerequisite 75% of the time — or greater, for a Top 5 ranking, 50% of the time for a Top 10 ranking — as a minimum, we’d see something quite different. But, a few seasons ago this was the case for the true rankings and results. At this point in time, to see and understand the whole truth it has become a matter of deduction and not all Top 10 players are living up to these expectations.

It’s hard, but it’s truth. So much so, a player does not garner traction for inclusion in our data (extensively published) unless these Round of 16 results become a reality — at the Grand Slam level. It’s one thing to win significant tiles alike Indian Wells and Miami, but another to play at the same level or greater at a Grand Slam. But this is where it starts and yet if the Australian Open is anything to go by, the ATP tour has been living up to its key expectations whilst the WTA simply has not with the No. 1 — Swiatek, finding her feet again and surging, whilst Sakkari finds a new lease on her game — for how long we’ll soon find out.

To learn more about our data, predictive analytics and how to optimise your own performance, head on over to AM8 International. To learn more about AM8 International check out our selection of Books and/or options to join Dr B’s Pack to gain exclusive access to the best in the world. Not quite ready? Head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for free access to 80+ episodes directly from Dr Berge of what it really takes to win multiple Grand Slams to securing that Top 10tennis ranking with new episodes each week. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.

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The Official Wrap of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Top 100 Ranking Insights, Charleston & Miami, Baby!

This is episode 78 of Beyond Top 10 Tennis as a deep dive is shared on the Top 100 WTA players before the Top 100 on the ATP tour commences after the WTA tour wrap. But first, additional insights with an explanatory narrative on [NEW] data in tennis, the ‘how‘ behind the⁠ 7 Keys⁠ and the ⁠8th Key⁠rapid-fire results and the risk of injury on both WTA and ATP tours with gender-based implications when oestrogen and testosterone are brought into the equation. Today’s episode features Part II of BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (WTA & ATP tournament), Charleston (WTA tournament), and the start of the Miami Open (WTA & ATP tournament) with player ranking and result implications. Lastly, ⁠The Pathway⁠ and ⁠The Long Game⁠ are also touched on to provide a roadmap for all tennis players and tennis coaches alike to map your journey towards that ⁠Top 10 tennis ranking⁠ to culminate towards a Grand Slam title.

Tune in to Beyond Top 10 Tennis and jump to Episode #78 to learn more.

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The Official Breakdown of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells for WTA and ATP Players and On-Demand Top 10 Tennis Ranking Data Insights

This is episode 77 of Beyond Top 10 Tennis as the ⁠BNP Paribas Open⁠ at Indian Wells takes the spotlight. With both WTA Tour and ATP Tour matches underway, ⁠key⁠ analyses are shared on 1st Round, 2nd Round and all 3rd Round matches with emphasis placed on players progressing and/or regressing to those who have made it onto the ⁠radar⁠. From rapid-fire results, ⁠mitigating injuries⁠⁠predictive analytics⁠ and Raonic to Swiatek, these additional insights are dived into throughout the widespread analysis of arguably ‘one of‘ the contenders for a 5th Grand Slam live and in-action.

Tune into Beyond Top 10 Tennis and jump to Episode #77 to learn more.

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Top 200 WTA & ATP Insights, Markers for the Top 10, San Diego, Dubai and More

This is episode 76 of Beyond Top 10 Tennis as we kick off with sharing how the ⁠7 Keys⁠ inform the Top 200 Players and how the ⁠8th Key⁠ delivers that ⁠Top 10 Tennis Ranking⁠. With never-before-heard direct insights of what continues to seperate the ‘best in the world‘ from those inside the Top 200 towards the Top 50 and more, [NEW] Data metrics are shared to learn “⁠How to Develop a Top 10 Tennis Ranking⁠“. WTA Tournaments: San Diego, Austin & Indian Wells (Quals.) are dived into, before ATP Tournaments: Dubai, Mexico, Chile & Indian Wells (Quals.) wrap up today’s episode — arguably our biggest to date.

Tune into Beyond Top 10 Tennis and select Episode #76 to learn more.