How does the ATP and WTA stripping Wimbledon of ranking points affect the players?
The ATP and WTA decision not to award ranking points for the English Grand Slam event in 2022 has dramatically changed the foreseeable future of tennis’ hierarchy.
When Wimbledon decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in this year’s tournament due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine it was a controversial move, one that ended up with the ATP and WTA taking away the world ranking points the Grand Slam event was supposed to award. This ruling will have severe consequences as players have withdrawn from the tournament and some others, like Novak Djokovic, will drop in the rankings no matter how well they do in it.
The ATP strips away Wimbledon points due to Russian ban
The ATP took the strong measures after Wimbledon’s ban decision, with a press release stating that “our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour. Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries”. The ATP, alongside the WTA, explained that “it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022.″
In a tournament that had already lost the world’s number two player, Daniil Medvedev, and number four, Alexander Zverev, due to the Russian ban and an injury respectively, the loss of ranking points changes how players see the tournament, as they are only fighting for the prize money and the prestige of advancing in a Grand Slam tournament. Renowned tennis players like Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard decided not to participate, as she could only lose ranking points after a year-long injury kept her sidelined from the courts. The WTA young stars, such as number one, Iga Swiatek, and Paula Badosa, are fighting for the honor of their first Wimbledon victory, but their rankings will remain intact after their efforts.
World number one Djokovic will drop to seventh
Even if the biggest stars of tennis, including the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and young Carlos Alcaraz are indeed battling on the courts this week, none of them will get ranking points for their efforts. This will radically affect current world number one spot holder, Djokovic, as the Serb will lose all the points he got by winning last year’s Wimbledon and will drop to seventh in the ATP rankings a week from now.
Roger Federer, who will not be able to compete until 2023 due to his injuries, will also disappear from the rankings soon, since he only had his Wimbledon 2021 QF points to boast. The same fate is shared by Serena Williams, whose presence in the WTA ranking is contingent on the 40 year old coming back to her winning ways in any tournaments she plays in after Wimbledon.
Daniil Medvedev will, ironically, be the one to climb back to the top spot in the rankings after Wimbledon, with Zverev and Nadal as numbers two and three alongside him. Medvedev was one of the favorites to win the grass Grand Slam event this year before the ban was actioned, as he corroborated by finishing runner-up in ATP 500 Halle Open two weeks ago, but he will nevertheless get a gift as he will reign the tennis world once the grass season ends.