The UTR is a critical metric in evaluating a player's overall skill on a single 16-point scale. Still, it remains a subjective method to assess player's strengths based on recent performances. This is highlighted by the latest rankings, where Spain's Rafael Nadal ranked fourth.
Nadal, 37, has been out of action for a year and will rejoin the tour in Brisbane next season. His last outing was in January 2023, when Mackenzie McDonald knocked him out of the Australian Open. He has been nursing a hip injury since and underwent surgery in June.
Because of his inactivity, his official ATP ranking cascaded to its lowest point in two decades (currently ranked 664th). However, he has a 16.27 UTR rating, higher than Carlos Alcaraz's, the World No. 2, which has a 16.24 rating.
Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini are the other two players ranked so high in the updated rating. The two big hitters are former Top 10 players on the ATP Tour, and like Nadal, have battled their injury problems this season.
But Croatia's Cilic ranks 10th in the UTR rating, while Berrettini ranks 11th. Novak Djokovic, unsurprisingly, leads the UTR year-end rankings with a rating of 16.38, ahead of second-placed Jannik Sinner, who became a Davis Cup champion in late November.
Unlike the official ranking points on the ATP and WTA tours, which accrue points up to a specified tournament level, the UTR aims to give an objective and accurate index of a player's skill. Based on daily match results, the players are rated on the same scale from 1.00 to 16.50.
Therefore, the UTR database encompasses millions of matches and thousands of tennis players worldwide regardless of gender, age, or location of any given match. It is pertinent to note that the quality of opponents, surface, and match format are other factors to consider when providing such a rating.