Originally Posted by General Suburbia
I know all that, but my question is, why does everyone treat the race rankings as the official rankings? Does the race rankings have any effect on the world rankings? Because everyone here seems to treat it that way.
As quoted in the initial post, Skyward said "At the end of the year № 3 in the race is the # 3 ranked player in the world."
These two ranking systems serve different purposes. Before the USOpen, the race is almost completely worthless, since there is still so much tennis to be played. However, after that, it gives you a pretty good picture of how the players have been doing in the current calender year so far, as it doesn't have any points from the previous year, so there are no points to defend, no points come off, and players simply add points as they earn them.
The entry system gives you an idea of how the players have done in the past year (52 weeks), and it's the ranking that's used for seeding. You can't go wrong with this system in general, but if you just want to isolate this year's achievement, and not counting the previous year, then you can go to the race.
After TMC is played, the past 52 weeks (entry system) is virtually the same as the race, since nobody plays anymore in mid November/December of the previous year, so the previous 52 weeks is basically same as the current calender year.