Thursday, August 27, 2015

Country Power Rankings

Tennis may be an individual sport, but many fans approach it the same way that they would approach a team sport, supporting all of the players from a certain country as if they were a team. The one thing that is even better about this than team sports is that with tennis, players very rarely change the flag next to their name.

Like any sport, rankings are a huge part of tennis, but what about ranking the best tennis countries in the world? For just over three years now, I have been trying to rank the best tennis countries in the world, renewing the rankings every couple of months if not more frequently.

The process for finding these rankings is simple and it hasn't changed in the last three years. I take the sum ranking points of every player from every country in the top 140 in the world. The player ranked No. 141 in the world and everyone below is not factored into this, because this process would take forever, otherwise.

Here are the results of the formula for best tennis countries in the world:
1. Spain
2. Serbia
3. France
4. Switzerland
5. Great Britain
6. United States
7. Japan
8. Czech Republic
9. Croatia
10. Australia
11. Italy
12. Argentina
13. Germany
14. Belgium
15. Canada
16. Austria
17. Ukraine
18. Russia
19. Brazil
20. Slovakia
21. South Africa
22. Bulgaria
23. Colombia
24. Kazhakstan
25. Uruguay
26. Luxembourg
27. Portugal
28. Dominican Republic
29. Cyprus
30. Slovenia
31. Poland
32. Latvia
33. Uzbekistan
34. Korea
35. Lithuania
36. Netherlands
37. Turkey
38. Moldova
39. Tunisia
40. Bosnia & Herzegovina
41. Georgia
42. Israel
43. Finland
44. Chinese Taipei

For the first few years of doing this, France always finished in second only behind Spain, but Serbia has now passed France largely because of the return of Viktor Troicki and dominance of Novak Djokovic. Spain has never been anything but No. 1 on this list, but with David Ferrer's injuries and Rafael Nadal's struggles, that lead has shrunk significantly and could be in trouble in the upcoming months.

There is a big gap between the top 10 and the rest of the field and it looks like that will only grow, although, Croatia should drop quite a bit after the US Open. Great Britain is currently ahead of the United States and Germany is down from where they have been in previous years.

In general, there has been a strong power shift away from Europe even though each of the top five countries are European. Korea has come onto the scene with Hyeon Chung. Japan has been getting stringer. The Dominican Republic is doing well if only for now. Colombia, Chile, and Argentina are all much weaker than they have been in previous years, but Chile and Argentina both have bright futures, especially if Juan Martin del Potro comes back healthy next year.

The two non-European slam countries are the United States and Australia and both are looking for a return to glory in the near future with loads of fresh young talent. Meanwhile, the futures for Spain, Switzerland, and Czech Republic are all particularly bleak right now.

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