On Friday, the ATP announced that this year’s Wimbledon will not result in any ranking points for tennis players who participate. Additionally, the ranking points from 2021 Wimbledon were taken away, affecting many players, including big names Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
For the first times in their careers, the former World No. 1s Federer and Williams will lose their world rankings.
The stripping of ranking points decision was in response to Wimbledon’s ban of Russian and Belarusian players for this year’s Grand Slam tournament amid the invasion of Ukraine. The ATP disagreed with the tournament’s decision to punish the players from these countries, stating that the ban was against tennis’ ethical values.
So, the ATP wanted to get rid of ranking points so that the players who are unable to compete at Wimbledon are not impacted career-wise. Notably, Russian Daniil Medvedev will be able to keep his No. 2 ranking despite not being allowed to participate in the June tournament.
But, the ATP’s action is affecting players from other countries, too.
Both Federer and Williams have not played in a professional tennis match since last year’s Wimbledon. Federer underwent knee surgery last August, and was hoping to make a return sometime this summer if he continues to recover. Eight of his 20 Grand Slams are from previous Wimbledon wins. The 40-year-old is tied with Novak Djokovic with 20 total grand slams behind Rafael Nadal’s 21.
Williams injured her ankle during the first set of her first round match at 2021 Wimbledon. The 40-year-old has been recovering since, and she recently said she plans to make her tennis return at this year’s Wimbledon. Seven of her 23 Grand Slam titles came from Wimbledon.
Even if these two legends make their return at Wimbledon, they won’t have a chance to earn ranking points until their next tournament appearance. ATP points are dropped after 52 weeks, meaning Federer and Williams would lose their world rankings.
The only way they could keep their rankings would be by playing before Wimbledon commences. However, neither player has announced any commitments prior to Wimbledon’s June 27th start.
As of May 2022, Federer is ranked No. 46 in the world, while Williams is ranked No. 246 in doubles.
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