Punishing Wimbledon is set to make Russian Medvedev world number one

Stripping Wimbledon of ranking points is set to push Russian Daniil Medvedev to world No 1 and dethrone Novak Djokovic at the summit of tennis

  • There will be no world ranking points at the Wimbledon Championships this year
  • This was implemented after a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes competing
  • Russian world number two Medvedev could thus dethrone Djokovic at the top
  • Veterans Federer and Serena Williams risk losing their world ranking altogether

Nothing sums up the chaos of Wimbledon’s ranking statement more than the elevation to world No 1 that it will bring for Daniil Medvedev.

With the law of unintended consequences kicking into action, a measure initially designed to hurt Russia will now see their best male player all but guaranteed to replace Novak Djokovic at the top after The Championships.

That will be one part of the fallout from the decision by the tours to cut SW19 out of its ranking system this year, the 35 year-old Serb unable to defend points from winning a year ago.

As an opponent of the All England Club’s stance, Djokovic can hardly complain and the sanction will doubtless not deter him from trying to claim another Slam in his race with Rafael Nadal for the most Majors ever.

Many other players, from the great to the anonymous, will suffer consequences. Roger Federer, missing anyway, will lose his ranking altogether, so too Serena Williams unless she plays beforehand (it looks increasingly unlikely she will play at all).

Spare a thought for Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who cannot recoup the points he made at Wimbledon last year by making the final.

There will be no ranking points at Wimbledon due to the ban of Russian  and Belarusian players

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who made the quarter-final in 2021, is likely to drop from his position of 55 to out of the top 100. ‘Are you serious ATP Tour?’ he demanded via social media.

There will be further recriminations over the next month. A further summation of the splits in tennis is that four different bodies — the two tours, International Tennis Federation and Wimbledon — all made separate announcements within an hour.

Beyond the formality of the statements there has been a serious deterioration in the relationship between the two tours and the All England Club.

Tour officials are astonished at what they see as a lack of communication around the whole matter of the Russian ban and the lack of presence at events in recent months of figures from Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Russian athlete Daniil Medvedev is world number two behind Serbian Novak Djokovic

For their part the British side insist they kept the rest of the game up to speed with their position as much as they could. Either way, the various parties did not connect very well.

There have been suggestions Wimbledon might now reduce its prize money which, unusually, they are not due to announce until a week after the French Open.

Senior figures at SW19 have played down this likelihood and would not wish to disincentivise players from turning up to a tournament where there is no longer the allure of boosting or protecting one’s ranking.

Novak Djokovic is now all but certain to lose his spot at world number one after Wimbledon

Given that nearly £40million is expected to be the prize pool, the vast majority will be there, although a few might skip it.

Public interest in Wimbledon is unlikely to be dented and it could be argued that those being most punished are the 90 per cent of players who are not from Russia or Belarus. One player yesterday called the episode ‘pathetic’.

The French Open will plough on today. The main attraction on day one is Carlos Alcaraz, the 19 year-old Spaniard who ought to have a gentle introduction against Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero.

Alcaraz, Djokovic and Nadal are the top tips to win the men’s title. Poland’s Iga Swiatek is hot favourite for the women’s.




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