Using tennis rankings to predict performance in upcoming tournaments

Gerard Kuper, Gerardus Sierksma, Frits Spieksma

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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We show how to use ATP and WTA rankings to estimate the probability that a player with a certain ranking advances to a specific round (for instance, the quarterfinals) in an upcoming tournament. We use the results from Grand Slam and Olympic tournaments in the period 2004 – 2014. Pooling the data, which is justified according to our tests, allows us to compute probabilities with relatively small confidence intervals. For instance, the probability of a top 4 tennis player to reach the quarterfinals is 0.722 with a 95% confidence
interval of (0.669; 0.771). This study was motivated by a request from the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF).
Based on our results, NOC*NSF decides which Dutch single tennis players to invite to participate at the 2016 Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGroningen
PublisherUniversity of Groningen, SOM research school
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSOM Research Report


  • Predicting performance
  • Ranking
  • Selection
  • Probit regression
  • Tennis

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