'This is madness': Uproar over 'ridiculous' tennis controversy

Roger Federer (pictured) upset at a press conference after a Wimbledon loss.
Roger Federer (pictured) will most likely benefit from the continued freeze of the ATP rankings system. (Getty Images)

Tennis fans have been left befuddled after the ATP announced they would extend the freeze to the ranking points system, which was introduced last year.

The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the sports world last year and in March 2020, the ATP and WTA announced it would introduce a new rankings system when the tennis schedule came to a grinding halt.

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Player rankings were frozen and a 'best-of' system was introduced.

A player would keep their points from past tournaments going back as far as March 2019 if they were unable or unwilling to compete due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This benefited players such as World No.1 Ash Barty.

Barty opted not to take part in the French Open and US Open because of concerns over travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.

But because of her strong results over the past year, which included a French Open crown, she was able to hold onto her points and the World No.1 ranking.

Ash Barty (pictured) sitting between points at the Adelaide International tennis tournament at Memorial Drive.
Ash Barty (pictured) benefited from the freeze in ranking points last year and remained World No.. (Photo by Peter Mundy/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the 2021 season brings with it new challenges, players appear to be more willing to travel to tournaments as host nations work out better ways to accomodate stars and keep them and locals safe during the pandemic.

But on Thursday, the ATP announced that the ranking freeze will now be extended till the Toronto Masters, on August 9, and players can keep their points as far back as 2019 weighted at 50 per cent.

The system does not include Grand Slams.

Tennis world fumes at tennis rankings decision

This extension of the system has prompted a stunned reaction from the tennis world.

Tennis reporter labelled the system as a 'slow unfreezing' and said it could have major implications for players looking to boost their rankings ahead of the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Others labelled the move 'ridiculous' as it benefits players such as Roger Federer who hasn't played a match since the 2020 Australian Open, but will most likely remain as World No.5.

Officials said the traditional ranking system, incorporating only results from the previous 52 weeks, will apply again on August 15, 2022, if there are no further changes.

The ATP also announced prize money for ATP 250 and 500 events will be increased after an year of cancellations and limited participation.

The minimum prize money for ATP 250 and 500 events will be raised to 80 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.

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