A decision in favor of Daniil Medvedev!
On the eve of the start of Roland Garros ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) has finally issued an official decision to cancel this year ranking points at Wimbledon 2022 due to the refusal of this tournament to allow all Russian and Belarusian tennis players to participate. “The ability for players of any nationality to participate in tournaments on merit and without discrimination is fundamental to our tour. Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in Great Britain this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP ranking system. It also contradicts our ratings agreement. Under the current circumstances, it is with great regret that we see no other option but to remove ATP ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022,” the ATP said in an official statement. The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) has joined the decision.
Thus, Wimbledon in 2022 becomes the most prestigious exhibition tournament. At it will be played for the cup, a large cash prize, but for participation in the competition the players will not add a single point to their ranking. Note that, despite the fact that points in 2022 will not be played during Wimbledon, however, at the end of the tournament points for 2021 will be burned for all. Last year’s champion Novak Djokovic will be the hardest hit on the men’s side, losing 2,000 points, and it will not be possible to gain them anywhere else during that time. With the 52-week ATP World No. 1 going to a head-to-head tie between Djokovic and Russian Daniil Medvedev, Medvedev will not lose any points at Wimbledon, losing only 180 points to advance to the fourth round.
Let’s go over the points situation for Medvedev, Djokovic, and Zverev, who theoretically could also become the first racket in the near future. The situation is virtually hopeless for Novak. The key word here is “practically.” To remain 1st in the world after Wimbledon he must close the gap to the Russian, which will be accumulated due to the burned-out points from last year. And that is as many as 2,690 points. Medvedev will receive 2,000 points only for victory at Roland Garros and the remaining 690 points at two tournaments on grass, one of which must be a “five hundredths”. At the same time, Medvedev himself must lose everywhere at the start. However, Daniil can become the No. 1 racket much earlier – either at the end of Roland Garros on June 6, or a week later, when the points for Roland Garros 2021 are burned out. The fact is that last season the tournament was pushed back a week because of coronavirus restrictions. We shouldn’t forget that Alexander Zverev is lurking nearby. He could very well overtake both Djokovic and Medvedev (see the table for a detailed breakdown by week). No one is guaranteed first place before or after Wimbledon.
We must point out that the ATP and WTA tournaments, which are held in different UK cities in the three coming weeks before Wimbledon, are not deprived of ranking points. ATP explained this in a separate press release, “Wimbledon stands alone in its place in the calendar, and there are no other parallel tennis competitions with it. As for the other, smaller tournaments in Great Britain, the deprivation of ranking points entails a significant risk that these competitions will not be held at all. In addition, alternative tournaments in other countries are open to Russian and Belarusian players during these weeks.” Indeed, for example, Daniil Medvedev entered three consecutive tournaments on grass – Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Halle (Germany) and Mallorca (Spain).
How fair is that decision to players who usually do well at Wimbledon?
Answering this question, ATP said, “Our decision is based on the need to maintain a fair rating for the entire group of players. To maintain fairness, unfortunately, some sacrifices and compromises are required.”
How involved were the players in this decision to remove points from Wimbledon?
“We had extensive consultations with the Players Council, which represents the interests of a broader group of players as well as tennis players from Russia and Belarus. Overall, our conversations have emphasized that it’s time to put personal interests aside and understand the bigger picture of tennis. Of course, we know that not all players will agree with the position we took. For example, we hope that Ukrainian players will still understand that these rules are designed to protect the integrity of the competition, which is fundamental to tennis.
Do Russian and Belarusian players support the move you made?
“This decision was not made at the request of Russian and Belarusian players. There is no self-interest behind this decision. We take a broader collective viewpoint – protecting the rights of the group of players as a whole, regardless of their nationality or place of birth, throughout our tour.”
Wimbledon will take place on the courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club from June 27 to July 10.