A Closer Look at Hall of Fame Candidates with Insight from UTR Rating

A Closer Look at Hall of Fame Candidates with Insight from UTR Rating

5 min read

This month, the International Tennis Hall of Fame announced the ballot for the Class of 2022. With that, comes the question, who could have already secured their future nomination?

The Player Category candidates this year are Juan Carlos Ferrero, Lisa Raymond, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Flavia Pennetta, and Cara Black. The nominees will be revealed in January and the induction ceremony takes place in July.

“The six nominees named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame ballot have all achieved remarkable results on tennis’ biggest stages – Grand Slam titles, topping the world rankings, Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup victories," said ITHF President Stan Smith. "Their successes are highlights of tennis history, and it’s a pleasure to recognize their accomplishments with the honor of International Tennis Hall of Fame nomination."

Voters can pick as many candidates as they feel are deserving but can only submit their vote once.

With the help of Universal Tennis INSIGHTS and UTR Rating, Universal Tennis is taking a closer look at active players to see who could be making their way to Newport, R.I. for their own induction celebration one day—not that anyone is rushing into retirement. Spoiler alert: UTR Pro Tennis Tour No. 1’s Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic both make the cut.


To be eligible, players must have retired at least five years prior and have had “a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level".

For automatic inclusion, singles players must have won at least three major singles titles and were No. 1 for at least 13 total weeks or have won at least five major singles titles. For doubles, it’s 12 majors and No. 1 for 52 total weeks or at least 15 majors.

To be elected, a candidate must receive a vote of 75% or more from the Official Resulting Group. Fan Voting plays a role with the Top 3 nominees getting bonus points: first place gets a 3% bonus, second place gets a 2% bonus, and third place gets a 1% bonus). Voting is open through October 31.




There are some obvious contenders amongst currently active players that have already made the requirements tenfold, and others that have earned the right to be included in the debate. Here's a look at who's most likely to be on a ballot one day, with added insight from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS and UTR Rating.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal

Could there be more decorated male candidates than the Big 3? All three men currently hold 20 Grand Slam titles each and aren’t done chasing titles just yet. Djokovic has the record for most weeks at No. 1 with 344 and has been the most active Big 3 member recently, winning three majors, compiling a 47-9 win-loss record over the past 15 months, and sitting atop the UTR Pro Tennis (PTT) rankings with a UTR Rating of 16.27.

According to Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, Djokovic is ahead of every other male player by UTR Ratings (including clay, hard, and three-month trending), and both his ATP ranking and UTR Pro Tennis Tour ranking are the same (No. 1). INSIGHTS is a predictability and analytics application that goes deeper into the sport with data powered by the same engine that runs UTR Rating.

The PTT rankings can be different than ATP/WTA rankings because the Universal Tennis algorithm includes the last 12 months with UTR Rating based not on wins and losses but on competition (strength of opponent), score (games won), and history (the last 30 matches within 12 months).



Rafael Nadal is close behind at No. 2 with a UTR Rating of 16.21 but he’s played a lot less with a record of 29-8. INSIGHTS has Nadal just behind Djokovic thanks to his clay UTR Rating (also 16.21), while the ATP ranks the Spaniard down at No. 5. While Roger Federer hasn’t competed since Wimbledon, his UTR Rating of 15.58 has placed at No. 17 in the PTT rankings. Of any active male player, he holds for most total titles at 103.

Serena and Venus Williams

Like the Big 3, the Williams sisters are guaranteed their place in the storied halls, for both singles and doubles. With her 23 Grand Slams and 319 weeks at No. 1, Serena Williams is nearly untouchable in the record books. In the PTT rankings, the American is No. 22 with a UTR Rating of 12.88, but she hasn’t played since Wimbledon. Notably, her WTA ranking is much lower at No. 41 and she has no trending three-month UTR Rating, which impacts her PTT ranking.

On her own, Venus Williams has won seven singles majors, earning her automatic entry into the Hall of Fame when that day does come. The sisters have also won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together.

Naomi Osaka

With four Grand Slams and 25 weeks at No. 1, Naomi Osaka has booked her place in the Hall of Fame. The 24-year-old is impressive by Universal Tennis standards too, sitting at No. 7 in the PTT rankings with a UTR Rating of 13.01 despite her abbreviated 2021 season.

Ash Barty

Ash Barty is one short of the Grand Slam requirement at two (Roland Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021), but her 100 weeks at No. 1 are staggering. The pandemic has played a role in the 25-year-old Australian's extended stay at the top but, to be fair, she has also been dominant at the top of the PTT rankings with a UTR Rating of 13.36 and a win-loss record of 43-8 over the last 12 months. Like Djokovic, both her rankings are the same, No. 1, but unlike Djokovic, her trending UTR Rating is even higher than her overall UTR Rating, 13.41 to 13.36, thanks in large part due to her title in Cincinnati.

Ashleigh Barty's win-loss record over the last 12 months has been 43-8.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray is doing his best to have a resurgence on tour but he’s already won three Grand Slams during his historic career, winning his first major at the 2012 US Open and becoming the first Brit in 77 years to win Wimbledon in 2013 before winning it again in 2016. While the 34-year-old Scot is ranked outside of the Top 150 on the ATP Tour, Universal Tennis has him much higher in the PTT Rankings at No. 31 with a UTR Rating of 15.45. What that means, according to the Universal Tennis algorithm, is that he is playing much, much better than his ATP ranking implies.

Honorable Mention

There are a lot of other great future candidates to consider that have already made their mark on the tennis world (and many more who will in the coming years). So let’s also mention candidates like three-time Grand Slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber, two-time major winners Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep, and the only two men born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam: Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev.

UTR Ratings as of Oct. 278 2021 at 9 a.m. EST.

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