'Are you serious?': Roger Federer sting in controversial Wimbledon move

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Roger Federer could disappear from the world rankings entirely if players cannot earn ranking points at Wimbledon. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)
Roger Federer could disappear from the world rankings entirely if players cannot earn ranking points at Wimbledon. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

The decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points this year over their refusal to allow Russian and Belarussian players to enter has had an unintended consquence for one of the sport's biggest stars.

The iconic grass court tournament has been reduced to an exhibition this year, with the ATP and WTA announcing ranking points would not be awarded if Wimbledon was not free for all players to enter.

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Wimbledon officials announced the bans on players from Russia and Belarus in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Several top players, such as men's world No.2 Daniil Medvedev and leading women's challenger Aryna Sabalenka, have been excluded from the tournament as a result.

The UK Government has aggressively looked to impose sanctions on wealthy Russian citizens living and operating from the nation, with Wimbledon officials felt they had made the only 'viable decision' they could.

Tennis fans have had a mixed reaction to the news, but the decision to strip the grand slam of ranking points has had an impact on the future of Roger Federer.

The decision not to award points will cause a substantial knock on effect in the rankings, with Federer set to disappear from the leaderboard altogether after Wimbledon.

Federer's only remaining ranking points are from his run to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, with the Swiss veteran having already lost many of his points due to missing tournaments through injury.

The 40-year-old isn't the only tennis great to find himself in this situation, with fellow legend Serena Williams also likely to drop out of the rankings.

One player has already expressed frustration over the move, with Hungary's Marton Fucsovics furious to learn of his own likely rankings drop.

"No ranking points in Wimbledon and ranking points will drop from 2021," he wrote in Instagram.

"No chance to defend them. Are you serious ATP Tour? From No. 60, I will drop to 130. Thank you."

Wimbledon points move leaves world rankings in flux

While the likes of Federer and Williams are likely to fall out of the rankings altogether, the ranking points decision is also set to have a decisive impact at the top as well.

Players will still lose ranking points even though Wimbledon is set to go ahead - meaning reigning men's champion Novak Djokovic is poised to lose all 2000 points from his victory last year.

This could open the door for either Medvedev or Germany's Alexander Zverev to challege for the No.1 ranking.

Tennis' governing bodies have banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion, but allowed players from the two countries to continue competing as neutrals.

"The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour," the ATP said on Friday.

"The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement."

Novak Djokovic stands to lose as many as 2000 ranking points, jeopardising his hold on the No.1 spot, after Wimbledon was stripped of rankings points. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic stands to lose as many as 2000 ranking points, jeopardising his hold on the No.1 spot, after Wimbledon was stripped of rankings points. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The moves effectively reduce the world's most famous tennis tournament to an exhibition event, albeit with significant status and prize money.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club responded: "We appreciate that opinions differ in relation to our decision to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to the championships this year, and we deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected.

"However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia's global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made.

"We therefore wish to state our deep disappointment at the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for the championships.

"We believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and damaging to all players who compete on tour.

"We are considering our options, and we are reserving our position at this stage. We are also in discussion with our Grand Slam colleagues."

With AAP

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