There is a great deal of debate currently over tennis rankings and ratings.
Most tennis fans don't appear to have a problem with the WTA and ATP professional women's and men's rankings, but many observers see a great deal of disparity in the junior, adult and senior rankings from the state level to international tennis.
Even league tennis rankings are controversial. From self-rated to computer-rated, the National Tennis Rating Program that governs league tennis ratings often disappoints league tennis players.
Could the Universal Tennis Rating system be the answer to all of these debates?
UTR Powered by Oracle is a global tennis rating system that compares all players, regardless of age, gender, or geography across a single, unified scale.
The WTA's Premiere level Volvo Car Open is partnering with UTR in a pre-qualifying wild card tournament. The event is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 3 at Family Circle Tennis Center and the winner will receive a wild card into the VCO qualifying tournament March 30-31.
The entry deadline for the VCO's pre-qualifying UTR event is Feb. 22.
Any female tennis player with a UTR rating of 11-plus is eligible to compete in the pre-qualifying tournament.
The 32-draw event will be held the weekend prior to the start of the Premiere Level WTA Tour tournament main draw, which will begin on Monday, April 1.
"UTR ignores gender and age," said VCO tournament director Bob Moran, who has been a fan of the UTR system for some time.
"We are very excited to create an official partnership with UTR by hosting a wild card event for a spot in our qualifying draw of the 2019 Volvo Car Open."
Several local juniors might pass the 11-plus rating criteria for the tournament, according to Randy Pate of the local Randy Pate Tennis Academy at LTP.
"Anna (Ross) is already at 11.3, and Allie (Gretkowski) and Lara (Schneider) are right at it," Pate said. "Emma (Charney) has a good chance at getting there."
Emma Navarro, the world's No. 22-ranked junior girl, already is in the VCO main draw as the result of the national girls 18 clay court singles championship she won last summer at LTP Tennis.