I'll be giving my version of Elo rating system a try starting with the Abu Dhabi tournament. Although this is considered an exhibition tournament, its competitiveness is real, and so IMO is the meaning of the results. I decided to start with a "race rank" - starting with clear table for the season for all players, since I don't have the resources (time, mostly) to implement the full historical Elo ranking. I'm going to include all really competitive results - ATP tournaments not lower then 250-series, Davis Cup singles matches, Grand Slams, World Team Cup singles matches, Hopman Cup, and other serious exhibition tournaments like Abu Dhabi (suggestions are welcome).
The method I'll be using:
- every player starts with a clean sheet, 0 points;
- since in Elo rating only the difference in points is significant, and negative values of points are allowed in calculation, I will not introduce any starting bias;
- so, players who loose more often then not, will go into negative domain, while those who win will go into positive domain;
- I will be using a fixed K-factor of 24;
- I will normalize all results to the "best of two sets", meaning - 2:0 win in sets will be normalized to 1:0, and 2:1 win will be normalized to 1:0.5;
- consequently, matches in "best of three sets" will be normalized as - win of 3:0 to 1.5:0, 3:2 to 1.5:1;
- that way, matches in "best of three sets" (Slams, DC) will have a higher weight - effectively as if the K-factor was 36;
- and lastly, season will end with World Tour Championships.
So much for the start, and I'll see where this leads in the process... different tables for different surfaces, other possibilities for evaluating results, etc... Elo system is really very flexible, anything that maps to 0-1 range can be used for calculations: serve and return percentages, games won, points won, you name it!
I'm not a statistician by profession, so bare with me...