Novak Djokovic could be knocked off No 1 spot in UTR rankings – and not by Carlos Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic 2023 ATP year-end No 1

Novak Djokovic finished 2023 as the undisputed king of men’s tennis, but the world No 1 could be knocked-off the top spot in the UTR rankings early in 2024.

While tennis’ international nature has often been celebrated, our sport always lacked a unified rating system until UTR Sports (formerly Universal Tennis) came along with the UTR Rating.

This rating system was created by UTR Sports to promote fair and competitive play across the tennis world.

All players, regardless of age, gender, geography, or skill level, are rated on the same scale between 1.00 and 16.50 based on actual match results.

The brainchild of tennis professionals who wanted to prevent lopsided matches, UTR Sports had humble beginnings in the mid-2000s to launch a tennis rating. UTR Sports partners and investors include Novak Djokovic, Team8, Tennis Channel, Amazon Prime Video, Tennis Australia, and many more.

As the concept expanded, UTR Sports realized that by building a system that would stop unbalanced matches, they were actually developing something more powerful: a truly global rating system, capable of accurately rating players based upon their actual match results—regardless of if they were recreational players or professionals.

“The UTR Rating is the best way to measure yourself against all other players regardless of their age or skill level,” said Djokovic, who ended 2023 at the top of the UTR global ranking.

Djokovic was also a clear leader in the official ATP list, which is the system used to rank players and evaluate their seedings for tournaments and while there is no doubt that the 36-year-old is still the man to beat heading into 2024, the young guns are now snapping at his heels.

Jannik Sinner beat Djokovic at the ATP Finals in Turin and the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga in November, confirming the Italian is close to finding a way to beat the world No 1.

Djokovic also lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final, which proved to be his only defeat in a Grand Slam event in 2023.

Now the latest UTR rankings have been released and Djokovic is under imminent threat at the top from Sinner.

Using the UTR ratings calculations, Sinner’s wins against the player at the top of the ranking gave his points total an additional boost, which ensures he finished at No 2 in the list for this year.

Daniil Medvedev is third in the UTR rankings, with Carlos Alcaraz down in fifth place.

Intriguingly, the UTR rankings system still has a soon-to-be back-on-court Rafael Nadal in fourth place, with his historical results ensuring the 22-time Grand Slam champion remains high in the ratings.

Nadal’s rating could rise rapidly if he makes a successful return from almost a year out with injury, yet Sinner appears to be the player who is getting closest to Djokovic.

UTR rankings

  1. Novak Djokovic – 16.38
  2. Jannik Sinner – 16.33
  3. Daniil Medvedev – 16.31
  4. Rafael Nadal – 16.27
  5. Carlos Alcaraz – 16.25
  6. Alexander Zverev – 16.20
  7. Andrey Rublev – 16.19
  8. Grigor Dimitorv – 16.11
  9. Hubert Hurkacz – 15.97
  10. Marin Cilic – 15.95

How does the UTR ranking work?

  • Every match has an expected outcome, and a UTR will go up or down based on the actual outcome compared to the expected outcome
  • Match Weight is calculated based on Format, Competitiveness, Reliability, and Time Degradation
  • For Djokovic’s rating this year, competitiveness seems the most impactful. It refers to the difference between player UTR Ratings, the larger the discrepancy, the less weight is given to the result.