Emma Raducanu’s ‘true ranking’ revealed in updated list as Aryna Sabalenka slides

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu celebrates Australian Open
Emma Raducanu celebrates at the 2024 Australian Open

Emma Raducanu may be sitting at lowly No 252 in the WTA Rankings, but a more accurate reflection of her position in the women’s game may be provided by the latest UTR Rankings.

Raducanu’s absence from the game from April of last year until her comeback in Auckland in January meant her official ranking has slumped.

As anticipated following surgery on both wrists and her ankle, Raducanu has lived through a challenging opening few weeks in her comeback bid.

Yet she has shown flashes of brilliance as she has won three matches so far in her comeback, with the UTR Ranking placing her at No 63 in the world as the British star waits to see if she is awarded a wildcard into next week’s WTA 1000 tournament at Indian Wells.

The UTR Rankings are calculated using a different method to the traditional ATP list, with the current form and the ranking of your opponent taken into account when the final analysis is made.

The method for calculating the UTR ratings differs greatly from the rolling ATP list, which ranks players based on the points they collect over 52 weeks.

Victories against higher-ranked played are worth more in the UTR list than the official ATP or WTA Ranking, meaning they offer up a more accurate reflection of the current form at the top of the game.

Raducanu’s comfortable win against world No 18 Marie Bouzkova in Qatar earlier this month was evidence that she can mix it with top 20 players and that may explain why the UTR algorithm sees the 2021 US Open champion rated so highly.

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“She played very well in some of the matches she had this year and she clearly feels her level is good enough to challenge at these tournaments, so why not go for them?” Former British No 1 Laura Robson told Tennis365 as she reflected on Raducanu’s return.

“If it doesn’t go well, then you can go back to the drawing board and maybe enter a few lower tournaments.

“If the opportunities are there to pick up very big points without too many match wins without winning too many matches, you have to take them.

“The way the points work, you could win two WTA 250 tournaments or have a run at a WTA 1000 event and you basically get the same number of points for your ranking. If I were here, I’d be playing the same tournaments.

“She is competing really well and ever in the matches she has lost, she has been right in them.

“The fact that she has been playing more aggressively and getting closer to the baseline is great to see. She is playing a brand of tennis close to what we saw when she won the US Open and she just needs time on court and consistency to get her to that level.

“Emma has used this re-start as an opportunity to just start again and it has been really good to see.”

The UTR ranking provides a snapshot of current form in the women’s game and while Iga Swiatek is the outstanding world No 1 in both the WTA list and the UTR rankings, there are some differences in the top ten of the two lists.

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka is No 2 on the WTA list, but she he down in sixth place in the UTR Rankings.

Coco Gauff sits at second place in the UTR list, one place above her WTA Ranking, with her compatriot Jessica Pegula at No 3 in the UTR ranking, which is two places higher than her WTA listing.

Simona Halep still appears on the UTR Rankings at No 5 despite currently fighting a doping ban, while American Madison Keyes is at No 6 in the UTR list even though she is down at No 20 on the WTA Rankings.