UTR Admits Change In Algorithm—Severely Hampers Ability To Raise Rating

jcgatennismom

Professional
Upsets of the 2+ level are very rare. However, more common (tho still a small %) are 3 setters where the higher player wins with a 2.0 difference. I have seen several of those reviewing ITA summer circuit results. Most of those are players with UTR under 10, but a 12.59 barely beat a 10.51. That's big but it wont count. However, even if the 2+ wins by lower level players do count, what is the weight? Even matches 1.0-1.99 apart carry less weight, than matches 1.0 UTR or less apart. Would be helpful to know the weight. At these ITA summer circuits, there are some big gaps. If a match only counts .25 or .5 of a 1.0 gap match, players should know so they can choose to play tournaments where they will get the maximum credit for their matches. Why play 5 matches if players will only get credit for 2 which has happened in some past ITA summer circuit matches.
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
Upsets of the 2+ level are very rare. However, more common (tho still a small %) are 3 setters where the higher player wins with a 2.0 difference. I have seen several of those reviewing ITA summer circuit results. Most of those are players with UTR under 10, but a 12.59 barely beat a 10.51. That's big but it wont count. However, even if the 2+ wins by lower level players do count, what is the weight? Even matches 1.0-1.99 apart carry less weight, than matches 1.0 UTR or less apart. Would be helpful to know the weight. At these ITA summer circuits, there are some big gaps. If a match only counts .25 or .5 of a 1.0 gap match, players should know so they can choose to play tournaments where they will get the maximum credit for their matches. Why play 5 matches if players will only get credit for 2 which has happened in some past ITA summer circuit matches.
Opted for money tourney's because of these gaps. The utr differences are much tighter and a bit higher this year, especially in Southern California.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
UTR just destroyed their own system.
Elaborate-which recent changes are destroying uTR-counting wins by lower player even if 2.0+ diff, not counting close matches that are 2.01+ apart, or hosting "level-based tourneys" with too large of gap between opponents, or some other flaw? All of those have been discussed on thread. UTR is just a tool-sometimes it is portrayed as a scalpel precisely determining ratings when it really may be a butter knife. UTR was created for people to find competitive matches and it does an excellent job for that but now it is used for predicting wins and best fit for colleges, and its accuracy is somewhat lower as it was not designed for those uses.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
Upsets of the 2+ level are very rare. However, more common (tho still a small %) are 3 setters where the higher player wins with a 2.0 difference. I have seen several of those reviewing ITA summer circuit results. Most of those are players with UTR under 10, but a 12.59 barely beat a 10.51. That's big but it wont count. However, even if the 2+ wins by lower level players do count, what is the weight? Even matches 1.0-1.99 apart carry less weight, than matches 1.0 UTR or less apart. Would be helpful to know the weight. At these ITA summer circuits, there are some big gaps. If a match only counts .25 or .5 of a 1.0 gap match, players should know so they can choose to play tournaments where they will get the maximum credit for their matches. Why play 5 matches if players will only get credit for 2 which has happened in some past ITA summer circuit matches.
That's just completely absurd. Going by what you said, if the top seed ATP/WTA player loses in the first round to a qualifier at a GS event, the match should not count? If that's the case, why even bothers to compete at all?
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
That's just completely absurd. Going by what you said, if the top seed ATP/WTA player loses in the first round to a qualifier at a GS event, the match should not count? If that's the case, why even bothers to compete at all?
In that situation the match would count for ATP/WTA points even if it didnt count for UTR. However looking at UTR for the top pro men or women, none of the top 3 played any player ranked more than 1.6 below them in the last 12 months. Even the UTR 16s' lowest opponents were mid to high 14s. On the women's side, UTR is really tight with most matches within .5 UTR and very few with a 1.0 gap between opponents for the top ladies even in early rounds. Since Qualifiers have to win 3-4 matches before the MD, the qualifiers are very talented so within 1-1.5 or less UTR of top players. So your hypothetical situation is not going to happen in GS. In a Future Quali maybe-have seen a Future quali with UTR from 8-14 but the 8 lost 0,1. You definitely could see the situation in Men's opens, ITA summer circuits, etc.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I thought only including the result if it was close made a lot of sense. I can see how factoring a 6-0 6-1 loss to a much higher rated opponent might incorrectly bump the losing player up too much. If the loss is 6-4, 6-3, though, that indicates something about the abilities of the players.
They could "level' ratings with a handicap in those instances. SImple subroutine could clean that up and have matches count at least.
 

FIRETennis

Semi-Pro
What happens if a player loses their rating by not having played any matches eligible for UTR in the last 12 months?
I noticed a bunch of players in this situation have a 'UR' instead of a UTR number.
When they play their next eligible UTR match, would the system give them a new rating based on how close was the match with their opponent?
 

LJ92

New User
i think in that case the system starts over completely once they start playing again. it would look at the results that come in and depending on their results against reliably-rated players start to come up with a projected rating, and as some consistency is shown, then the rating would eventually become reliable again.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
That's just completely absurd. Going by what you said, if the top seed ATP/WTA player loses in the first round to a qualifier at a GS event, the match should not count? If that's the case, why even bothers to compete at all?
Ehhh, top 200-300 are really tight with each other in UTR.

Djokovic is a 16.13. The 300th ranked player in the world, Benjamin Hassan, is a 14.57. Not even a 2+ difference but they’re clearly worlds apart in their ATP rankings.

Point is upsets do happen. A 14.3 could beat a Top 50 ATP player with a 15.7, and it would count because it’s, again, not a 2+ difference.

UTR excels in the top of the men’s/women’s games, where everyone is really close to each other. Djokovic beating a world no. 83 in the first round of a tournament 6-3 6-3 may look routine, and it is, for them. That no. 83, while he probably won’t, can upset Djokovic if certain things go his way on that day, because his utr means he can have a competitive match with him.
 
It does hurt and it’s a terrible rule. If a 4.0 loses to a 6.1, but the score is 6-4, 6-4, the 4.0 doesn’t increase. Then if a 5.5 plays the 4.0 and wins 6-4, 6-4, the 5.5’s rating gets crushed. The 4.0 should never have been a 4.0.

And it DOES matter. UTR’s are used for grouping in clinics and for matches. The 6.1 gets better opportunities.

I also shared an example of a player who hasn’t played in over 6 months due to an injury, but his UTR went up a full point. He never had a close match with anyone near his current rating. His rating went up because his opponents’ ratings went up. So if I played Federer when we were 12 and lost 6-4, 6-4, and I never played again, I’d now be a 15.00.

Why is this bad? The earlier rule was 2.5 point difference, with close matches (rare indeed) possibly being counted. So how does this hurt us? The goal of utr is to get an accurate rating of match performance in the future, the algorithm must be adjusted as they learn more about it, and to counter any gamesmanship. I don't see we don't just play and let the utr rate accordingly.
 

andfor

Legend
Your win over Federer would have timed out by the time you both turned 13
I was wondering if my match back in 2005 still counted when my 4.5 doubles partner and me (4.5 ) beat a 5.0 and 6.5 (NTRP). Thanks, your response here clears that up for me and I will not try and selfreport that result to UTR now.
 

FIRETennis

Semi-Pro
It does hurt and it’s a terrible rule. If a 4.0 loses to a 6.1, but the score is 6-4, 6-4, the 4.0 doesn’t increase. Then if a 5.5 plays the 4.0 and wins 6-4, 6-4, the 5.5’s rating gets crushed. The 4.0 should never have been a 4.0.

And it DOES matter. UTR’s are used for grouping in clinics and for matches. The 6.1 gets better opportunities.

I also shared an example of a player who hasn’t played in over 6 months due to an injury, but his UTR went up a full point. He never had a close match with anyone near his current rating. His rating went up because his opponents’ ratings went up. So if I played Federer when we were 12 and lost 6-4, 6-4, and I never played again, I’d now be a 15.00.
I agree with @manwithtwofirstnames .
Another issue is that the higher rated player, might just 'mess around' the whole match "knowing" that he is going to win anyway to the low rated opponent and that the result, no matter how tight, won't hurt his rating.
 
I agree with @manwithtwofirstnames .
Another issue is that the higher rated player, might just 'mess around' the whole match "knowing" that he is going to win anyway to the low rated opponent and that the result, no matter how tight, won't hurt his rating.
If the higher rated player knows that the match won't count in his UTR, he will be able to take the opportunity to work on a part of his game. This could be beneficial to both players as the lower rated player may get a chance to be involved in more rallies while the higher rated player messes around working on his weaknesses.
 
If the higher rated player knows that the match won't count in his UTR, he will be able to take the opportunity to work on a part of his game. This could be beneficial to both players as the lower rated player may get a chance to be involved in more rallies while the higher rated player messes around working on his weaknesses.
In reality, that never happens.

Also, having any player underrated reduces participation and promotes defaults. A win is a win, a loss is a loss - every game should count.
 
In reality, that never happens.

Also, having any player underrated reduces participation and promotes defaults. A win is a win, a loss is a loss - every game should count.
Well, it happened to my son and his teammates when they were playing a high school match against another school, and they knew the results were not going to be entered in UTR. The coach actually told each of the kids what they were supposed to work on that day.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
Interesting scenario-in a WC tourney that probably wont count for UTR (not on tennislink, UTR platform), a UTR 7.57 1 star jr beat a 12.5+ D1 college player (the 1 seed). The lower player lost the first set 0-6, but the higher rated player got sick in the 2nd set and retired. The heat index was 100 degrees+. If this was a UTR tourney, not sure what the impact would have been. Also while the lower rated player technically won the match, the player only won 2 games to the higher player's 6 games (0-6, 2-0, ret,) The match would have counted since a win, but wins with a wide gap are weighted less. 4/21 players retired. Two matches were played a day. I remember some very hot matches in the juniors, but at least in the MD, players only played 1 per day. Anyway this example shows there can be unusual circumstances that lead to much higher ranked player losing to a lower rated player-thus possibly legitimizing UTR giving less weight to those matches. However, on the other hand, all players have the same opportunity to keep up their fitness to be ready for tough conditions...
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
What's a "WC tourney?"
wild card tourney for a pro event-in this case for Future Quali WCs. It used to be most of these were on tennislink so they were easier to find for players looking for another way to enter a Futures. Also in the past, the WCs were for the MD-now players play for WCs to Qualis.
 

andfor

Legend
Interesting scenario-in a WC tourney that probably wont count for UTR (not on tennislink, UTR platform), a UTR 7.57 1 star jr beat a 12.5+ D1 college player (the 1 seed). The lower player lost the first set 0-6, but the higher rated player got sick in the 2nd set and retired. The heat index was 100 degrees+. If this was a UTR tourney, not sure what the impact would have been. Also while the lower rated player technically won the match, the player only won 2 games to the higher player's 6 games (0-6, 2-0, ret,) The match would have counted since a win, but wins with a wide gap are weighted less. 4/21 players retired. Two matches were played a day. I remember some very hot matches in the juniors, but at least in the MD, players only played 1 per day. Anyway this example shows there can be unusual circumstances that lead to much higher ranked player losing to a lower rated player-thus possibly legitimizing UTR giving less weight to those matches. However, on the other hand, all players have the same opportunity to keep up their fitness to be ready for tough conditions...
The junior player was down 0-6, 2-0 ret. I believe there's a self reporting feature on UTR even if you have a free account. My guess is even if it did count, it wouldn't bump the juniors rating much. In this case all it shows anyone who knows is the junior player was either in better shape than the college player or got a good break from an injury the college player couldn't recover from.

Regarding the heat and players dropping out. It's a total lack of conditioning, and that's likely the case for all the retirements here. Lightly prepared players in these type conditions can easily melt down. There's a 60 year old man playing who completed his two matches.

@ClarkC WC is wildcard. This is for a Futures tourney starting Monday.
 

texrunner

New User
In the case of the WC the match won’t count at all...yes the lower rated player “won” by default but the higher rated player still “won” in terms of more games. And obviously there was more than a 2 point difference in utr. A similar thing happened at a usta open tournament this summer. Two kids with more than a 2.0 spread in utrs were playing and the higher rated player was barely winning before retiring with severe muscle cramps. So he “lost” the match but got more games so in the world of utr he won.
And I disagree that only unconditioned athletes can get sick from the heat. Sometimes it’s not a matter of how fit you are, it also has to do with how well hydrated you are, how much sleep you’ve had etc.
 

andfor

Legend
I believe in the tourney there were 4 retirements. Not conditioned enough to handle the heat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

LJ92

New User
In the case of the WC the match won’t count at all...yes the lower rated player “won” by default but the higher rated player still “won” in terms of more games. And obviously there was more than a 2 point difference in utr. A similar thing happened at a usta open tournament this summer. Two kids with more than a 2.0 spread in utrs were playing and the higher rated player was barely winning before retiring with severe muscle cramps. So he “lost” the match but got more games so in the world of utr he won.
And I disagree that only unconditioned athletes can get sick from the heat. Sometimes it’s not a matter of how fit you are, it also has to do with how well hydrated you are, how much sleep you’ve had etc.
hmmm i'm not sure this is right -- the winning player for the 2 point spread is the one declared the winner, not the one with the higher % of games won within the match.
 

andfor

Legend
hmmm i'm not sure this is right -- the winning player for the 2 point spread is the one declared the winner, not the one with the higher % of games won within the match.
Maybe. But if college scholarships are on the line, good coaches know who the real players are. Multiple retirements and defaults to dodge a true UTR rating standout like a sore thumb.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
UTR Makes it Easy
UTR has made it less costly to you when you play a much weaker player. Your match doesn’t count when you play anyone outside 2.0…unless you lose.
 

FIRETennis

Semi-Pro
One of the biggest flaws that UTR has is it does not account for surface!
There are sites around that calculate ELO ratings for the pros which show who does better on what surface.
A player that might be a 10 UTR on hard court (big serve, big forehand) might be "only" a 7.5-8 on clay.
 

tennisjon

Professional
I am a 7 UTR because I don't play tournaments but I have many wins over 9 UTRs. I just played this weekend in an unofficial match. I beat a guy whose UTR rating was 12+ when he played D2. Now, the conditions were perfect for me. Sunny, little wind, low humidity, and relatively fast courts. If this was an official match, I would be pissed that this didn't count. Neither would my wins over 9 UTRs which is ridiculous because it happens regularly. Meanwhile, I lost earlier this year twice in doubles to a former high level D1 player who for some reason still totes a 6 UTR even though he is really 10-11 because, again, no tournaments, just league play. In the past one of my players was a 12 UTR, beat an 11 UTR 6-2, 6-2 and his rating dropped enough that he became an 11 UTR. At that level, there are big serves. You can't break every time. That was nuts!
 
How do you know that last match is what caused his scores to drop? Utr considers anything better than a 6-4, 6-3 result to be uncompetitive.

I also doubt a high level d1 alumni would be utr 6 because of "leagues", unless he is sandbagging in a 3.5 one.
 

tennisjon

Professional
How do you know that last match is what caused his scores to drop? Utr considers anything better than a 6-4, 6-3 result to be uncompetitive.

I also doubt a high level d1 alumni would be utr 6 because of "leagues", unless he is sandbagging in a 3.5 one.
He has played 4 league matches and it turns out I played and lost to him in all 4 matches. His partners were all 8s or 9s. He is rated 5.0, but is a 6 UTR.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
As @texrunner feared, UTR has changed its methodology/algorithm. I don't understand the logic in excluding upsets or close matches with UTR differences more than two--especially in a tournament setting. I could understand the logic for self-reported matches in order to avoid match fixing but the likelihood of the same issue in a tournament setting is much lower. Personally, I believe this move severely hampers everyone across the board: rec players, juniors, and high school students competing for college scholarships/offers. As a rec player, I don't want to have to compete in substantially more lower level tournaments for marginal-to-no increases in UTR. It costs way too much money and time. I can't imagine how someone with more on the line feels.

The silver lining is UTR seems willing to communicate. I encourage everyone to leave a comment asking them to re-consider their position: https://support.myutr.com/support/tickets/new


Their algorithm is faulty. Most incompetent coders are working on this algorithm. These guys couldn't code if one came up and bit them in the butt.

 

texrunner

New User
I don’t know much at all about algorithms but if their methodology is faulty I certainly hope it’s losing credibility with coaches and tournament organizers.
 
In my experience, the singles UTR is usually pretty accurate. The doubles UTR, on the other hand, is a complete joke. The rating is so inconsistent across age-groups (juniors, college, adults) that the UTR folks should either abolish the doubles rating or go back to the drawing board. That said, I am not sure if the doubles rating is used at all to begin with.
 

The Dawgs

Rookie
On the girls (womens) side, right now UTR's so heavily favor junior players it's a shame. Then people can't understand why the top juniors entering college with these inflated UTR's can't hold there own with college players close to or below their ratings. It's also a detriment to those trying to figure out whether to go to college or go pro as when they look at what they would be up against, they fear lack of competition in college because of the lower collegiate ratings. Some type of adjustment is definitely in order.
 

FIRETennis

Semi-Pro
I guess the programmers didn't account for COVID breaks in their algo.
The whole ranking has been out of whack since Feb/Mar when regular playing stopped.
The 'time decay' that penalizes players for not playing and having current results have reduced UTRs by 1-2 points at least.
Oracle should throw some of that TikTok money to UTR and fix it.
 

Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
Hey IDK if this has already been said but upsets are now counted for 2.0+ differences.
I noticed this.

I have a player who put in 4 months of training this summer. I was worried none of her matches would count.

She was a 3.1 before we started working together, for a lack of better terms also tanked matches.

Now in practice shes beating 5-6 utr girls.

She lost in the finals of her tournament unseeded and narrowly lost a 3 setter vs a 5.2

Glad to see her matches counting.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
My UTR is officially UR now. My last USTA men’s matches were doubles in February. Played mixed last month, but don’t know if those count. They should.

Without playing a match, my UTR went from 9 to 8 to 7 to 6 to 5 to UR. I’d pay more attention to UTR if ratings had a hint of stability instead of rewarding participation points. UTR seems to be a lot less useful for adult players than sites with more stable algorithms like TR.com, for example.
 
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Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
My UTR is officially UR now. My last USTA men’s matches were doubles in February. Played mixed last month, but don’t know if those count. They should.

Without playing a match, my UTR went from 9 to 8 to 7 to 6 to 5 to UR. I’d pay more attention to UTR if ratings had a hint of stability instead of rewarding participation points. UTR seems to be a lot less useful for adult players than sites with more stable algorithms like TR.com, for example.
My utr dropped 3 points since leaving college because i stopped playing as much, truthfully i should still be a 10+, I just had a 9.4 junior join my academy, hes 17 and i bagled him first set we played
 

texrunner

New User
Im the one who started this thread and am not a fan of Utr especially what I’ve seen lately...some of my daughter’s older tennis friends who are now in college and aren’t playing recordable matches have seen their UTR’s in a free fall without them having played a match or only played one or two matches since March. What really sucks is that those people’s utr’s are tied to the utrs of everyone they’ve played. As an example this past winter my daughter beat a girl who at the time was about a 9 something but is now a high 7 - the girl is a college freshman now hasn’t played a match since the tournament where she played my daughter because of covid and the fact that colleges aren’t playing. I’m sure her rating decline hasn’t helped my daughters utr.
Oh and don’t even get me started on her doubles rating - went from about an 8.4 to a 7.2 in a matter of days - to look at utr you’d think my daughter suddenly forgot how to play dbs. What a joke!
 
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