Both the ATP and WTA have announced that no ranking points will be on offer for the third Grand Slam of the year, which will have disastrous ramifications for the two tennis legends.
Why have ranking points been stripped?
The stripping of points was in response to Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing, amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
According to both the ATP and the WTA, this decision is not in line with tennis’ ethical values. Therefore, the governing bodies stripped points so that those who are unable to compete are not impacted.
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev is currently the world number two and will now keep his ranking, despite not being allowed to participate at the All England Club.
Roger Federer and Serena Williams will disappear from the rankings after Wimbledon even if they play the tournament.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) May 21, 2022
What’s happened to Williams and Federer?
Williams and Federer are former world number one’s, but neither has played since last year’s Wimbledon.
Federer underwent knee surgery last August but has targeted this year’s Wimbledon as a potential return date.
Similarly, Williams has teased she will return to the All England Club this year as she bids to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.
The US star is already a seven-time champion at Wimbledon, while Federer has won the competition an unprecedented eight times.
As of May 2022, Williams is ranked outside the world’s top 250. Meanwhile, Federer is 46th in the latest ATP standings.
Since both players are still holding on to points accumulated at Wimbledon in years gone by, the stripping of these points this year will see them lose their world rankings entirely.
In order to hold on to their rankings, the two would have to play a tournament before Wimbledon starts. So far, however, neither has confirmed their participation in any warm-up events.
Players criticise stripping of ranking points
A number of players have criticised the ATP and WTA’s decision to get rid of ranking points for Wimbledon.
Naomi Osaka said the tournament would feel like an “exhibition” event and wouldn’t be worth playing in.
“I’m not sure why, but If I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she said after her first round defeat at Roland Garros.
“I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just feels that way. I just can’t go at it 100%. I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances, but that might change.”
🗣 “I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points it’ll be more like an exhibition”— GiveMeSportW (@GiveMeSportW) May 23, 2022
Naomi Osaka is the first high-profile player to suggest she will not play at Wimbledon after the Grand Slam was stripped of its ranking points ❌
Will other stars soon follow suit? 🤔
French star Benoit Paire echoed this idea and stressed that playing in the tournament will be like “going to an exhibition tournament just to cash a cheque.”
Paire also suggested the ATP’s decision to defend Russian players is actually harming other players instead.
“I’m sorry for Russia and Russians, but they are the ones causing all the trouble,” he said. “And all the ATP players are actually paying the price. Medvedev will be number one worldwide. This is absurd. We should actually take [a] position for all the players in the world, and it’s the opposite that is being done right now.
“There is a war in Russia, so there can be some sanctions that can be made. But the ATP should defend the majority of players, not four or five players. All the other players are actually having problems because of this decision.”