Written by Anaisa Arora, a grade 9 student.
It’s due to the Association of Men’s Tennis (ATP) – the men’s game’s governing body – introducing a new ranking structure last year.
A few facts about Roger Federer
Roger Federer is a Swiss professional tennis player. He is currently ranked No. 6 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
- He’s won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles,
- He shares this record shared with Rafael Nadal.
- Federer won his first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at the age of 21.
What is the current evaluation process and how does it work?
Following the pandemic’s outbreak, the ATP implemented a new scheme. Instead of subtracting ranking points from a player’s total, the current algorithm chooses the best score from two editions of the same game. This means that Federer did not lose any ranking points after missing the whole 2020 season after the Australian Open due to knee surgery and only returning earlier this month to play in the Qatar Open. He is currently ranked No. 6 in the world.
Federer last took a six-month break from the tour after Wimbledon in 2016, when he was ranked No. 3 and returned ranked 17 at the Australian Open in 2017.
How did the original ranking process work, and will it be reinstated?
The original framework will be reinstated in January 2022. Each event awards a certain amount of ranking points depending on how well a player progresses in a tournament. The player can defend those points the next year by attempting to either hit the same round as the previous year or to do well. Novak Djokovic, for example, won 180 ranking points by making the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Open. To avoid losing any ranking points from his overall count the next year, he will have to make it to the fourth round at the same event. However, after winning the event in 2019 (which gives 2000 points to the winner), he has added 1820 ranking points to his count.
What was the reason for the change in the system?
Because of the pandemic, it was expected that certain players would face travel bans in their home country or would refuse to travel for events for fear of contracting the virus. As a result, the men’s tennis governing body switched from a 12-month to a 22-month ranking period, and will return to the conventional format in January 2022. Instead of subtracting ranking points from a player’s total, the updated system calculates points using a “Best Of” logic. For eg, World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev won the Cincinnati Masters event in 2019 to win 1000 points, but when defending his title, he only made it to the quarterfinals (180 points). The ATP can only accept the best outcome in the current system, which was his victory in 2019. A player like Federer, who has only played two matches since the pandemic, has not missed any ranking points under this scheme. While the new system does not limit ranking points, it does make it more difficult for a lower-ranked player to catch up to a higher-ranked player.