How tennis records are maintained during the lockdown has provided many with an excellent topic of discussion but that has now been resolved with the ATP and WTA deciding that rankings will be frozen during the weeks of inactivity.
When one element of ranking is Frozen everything is Frozen period! No argument! Sven Groenfeld
That means that Novak Djokovic, for instance, will remain as world number one but his time at the top of the table will be fixed at 282 weeks – as per the last time the rankings were published (March 16) – until the tours hopefully resume on July’13.
While the ATP have not confirmed this, the French sporting newspaper L’Equipe, has allegedly obtained a statement from them at the weekend confirming that the weeks of inactivity will not be counted for the record books.
In contrast the WTA confirmed their ranking freeze on Tuesday whilst adding that it would apply to what they call all ‘time-sensitive records’. Following that declaration, the ATP and the WTA issued a joint statement via WTA Insider that both organisations were basically working in tandem on this occasion.
As a consequence, Ashleigh Barty remains top of the WTA rankings on 34 weeks and Novak Djokovic on the ATP’s at 282, just four weeks behind Pete Sampras and 28 places behind the man at the top of that list, Roger Federer.
The decision has not been universally welcomed with Brad Glbert, former coach to Andre Agassi and Andy Murray, declaring that the rankings should be treated as if they would be during the off-season when the weeks are counted.
Sven Groenveld, who has worked with Maria Sharapova,Sloane Stephens, argues the opposite believing it is the only logical thing to do given the current circumstances.
“When one element of ranking is Frozen everything is Frozen period! No argument!” he said on Twitter.
Meanwhile Rafa Nadal is the latest player to join the lists for the virtual Mutua Madrid Open when players will swap rackets for PlayStation consoles to play the Tennis World Tour video game which has recreated the Manolo Santana Stadium at the Caja Magica.
“From isolation and with the strength and encouragement we are all giving each other, I’m happy to play in Madrid’s virtual tournament and, as always, I will be trying to give my all”, Nadal said. “I’m not sure how good I’ll be at it, but I hope to be with you all and feel your support as is always the case when I play at home – this time virtually”.
Nadal joins Andy Murray, Lucas Pouille, David Goffin, John Isner, Karen Khachanov, while Eugenie Bouchard, Kristina Mladenovic, Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber are lining up on the women’s side.
The final draws will see 16 players competing in the two draws.