The Wimbledon ranking call punishes every player, says Todd Woodbridge

According to Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge, the decision to snatch ranking points from Wimbledon would have a huge impact on the game, with the rankings effectively becoming “zero and ineffective” for the next 13 months.

The most prestigious event of the game was snatched from the ranking point after the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to the Ukraine attack.

But the impact of such a decision is far-reaching.

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Novak Djokovic, who could lose his World No. 1 ranking in the next fortnight, will drop further in the rankings after failing to defend the points he earned in last year’s Wimbledon win.

Djokovic scored 2,000 points for the win in 2021, while Daniel Medvedev’s fourth-round appearance earned him just 180 points.

This raises the unreasonable possibility that Djokovic will lose points more than Medvedev, even if he wins Wimbledon, a Russian player banned from competing in a tournament.

Perhaps more ridiculously, Rafael Nadal could be the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon champion and still not be number one.

The situation will not be resolved until Wimbledon 2023, assuming the points are again available at the All England Club.

Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports, “All the scenarios that can be played, ATP has effectively destroyed their own ranking system.”

“Based on what they have decided, the ranking is wrong and does not reflect reality.

“It was a very correct arrangement in the past, but it will take another 13 months to get our rankings back where our players are in their rightful place. They are effectively canceled and invalidated.

“More people than just Russians and Belarusians are suffering from this decision.”

Martin Fuksovis, a Hungarian quarter-finalist in the SW19 last year, mentioned on social media that he would move out of the top 100 from his current 57 rankings.

He wrote on Instagram: “No ranking points and ranking points will be reduced at Wimbledon from 2021. There is no chance of defending them. Are you serious ATP Tour? From No. 60, I will go down to 130. Thank you”.

Woodbridge explains that many will suffer like Fuksovics.

“The ATP and the WTA have done the whole thing wrong here. What has happened now is that every player is being punished, and this will have a trickle down effect across the board,” he said.

“Australia’s Ajla Tomaljanovic has suffered, she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year and has no chance of defending those points.

“It simply came to our notice then.

“In the last half of the year it has a huge impact, who goes to the tournament or who gets selected. The response is huge.”

Woodbridge backed former player Tim Henman, now a member of the ELTC board, who recently told Eurosport that the club had very few choices.

“There’s no winner,” Henman said.

“The government’s directive is that players should not be allowed to play as neutral athletes. Will Wimbledon be expected to turn around and tell the government, in fact, we think we know better? It will not happen.

“So the next question is, are you going to get the players to sign a declaration against the government and the war in Russia?

“The position of Wimbledon is that there is no way to threaten the safety of the players and their extended family.

“Your first two options are terrible, and your third option is not to invite Russian or Belarusian players. No matter which way you go, they are terrible decisions.

“It’s not too much fun to be a part of it.”

Woodbridge says Grand Slam tournaments subsidize the backbone, lead-in events of the tennis year. He noted that the Australian summer events were heavily funded by the Australian Open, as well as the LTA financing the grasscourt tournament before Wimbledon.

He also mentioned the “significant” financial implications for top players, whose approval deals include substantial financial bonuses for their rankings, where they arrive and where they end the year.

“The International Tennis Federation’s decision to remove points from both junior and wheelchair competitions is also surprising, as their leadership has strangely distanced itself from the Grand Slam tournament with which they have historically aligned,” said Woodbridge.

“This is the most fragile political landscape of tennis in my time.

“If the ATP or WTA is serious, they will look at boycotts, but this is the last thing anyone wants.”

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