Controversial Point Stripping is Showing its Devastating Effects at Wimbledon
By: Andy Yu
As The dast says of Wimbledon draws closer, the final players battle for prestige, legacy, money, and points. However, this year top performing players may be stripped of their hard-earned points, a penalty that stems from Wimbledon’s controversial decision to ban Russian players.
Following the All-England Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian tennis players, the men’s ATP and Women’s WTA tour have unanimously agreed to strip points from the tournament this year and the previous year. A decision that hurts top performing players.
Players earn ranking points based on tournament results, with more points offered at bigger events. The higher-ranked a player can get, the more likely they are to secure their position for direct-entry into other events.
The decision to strip points from Wimbledon, one of the biggest tournaments of the year, could lead to drastic changes in the rankings. Novak Djokovic, currently the no.1 for the men’s tour, won the tournament last year securing him 2000 ranking points, but due to the decision will drop in ranking: Djokovic will drop from world no.1 to world no.7.
However, players like Djokovic are not the ones that feel the effects of this decision. Tennis professionals hovering in the rankings around no.100 are experiencing drastic drops in their ranking because of the both tour’s decisions. British men’s number five, Liam Broady, had a career-best-performance this year at Wimbledon, but because of the decision he is dropping from no.132 to no.150. While this is only a drop of 18, it could disqualify him from direct entry of tournament. Instead, he would have to play an extra 3 grueling matches to participate.
Other players that are also experiencing the devastating effects of removing points is one of the finalists of Wimbledon, Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios hovers around world no. 40, a relatively high-ranking, giving him the ability to be accepted directly into the tournament. However, being outside of the top 32 he will be foregone a seed for prestigious tournaments making him susceptible to playing a top ranked player. Without the stripping of points, Kyrgios could easily make it to the top 15 in the world.
The ATP and WTA’s decision to strip points from Wimbledon has drawn criticism from most of the players. In a tweet from Liam Broady, which is a good summation of most of the players thoughts, he states “I am failing to see how this is punishing Wimbledon?’