It is said that the scoring system in tennis is one of the fairest in any sports discipline. Taking into account what has been done in the last year is the faithful representation of the meritocracy and although it may be difficult for many to understand how points are computed, there is no debate about their suitability. However, in a season like this in 2020 marked by the coronavirus, with cancellations of many tournaments and postponements of some others, the chaos can be total. Once the calendar is defined, ATP and WTA They analyze what to do with the scoring system, considering two alternatives, one of which has already gained a lot of weight.
It must be remembered that the ranking includes the points earned in the last 52 weeks; that is why every year what was done in the same tournament in the previous season is defended. In addition, each tennis player can compute a maximum of 18 weeks, which are 19 in the event that they dispute the ATP Finals or WTA Finals. Everything has changed this time, but it is intended to maintain the genesis of that scoring system without causing excessive pressure on the players, given the accumulation of tournaments in a short time. These are the three options currently being considered.
– Divide the current points of each tennis player among the 52 weeks that count in the ranking
This would seek to temper very much the possibility that the players lose points. It is a measure that is liked by tennis players as it would allow them to be selective when competing, avoiding forcing injuries that could derive from playing so many tournaments in a few weeks and very different conditions. Many have already expressed concern about having to move from hard court to clay with little time and fighting for major tournaments, but this measure would mean that the points could not be lost for what was done in those tournaments last year, but only a certain amount.
Putting like practical example the case of Rafael NadalThe Balearic Islands could lose up to 5,360 points (corresponding to the defense of its results in Cincinnati, US Open, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros) in the event that a system like this is not established. However, by applying such a measure, you would lose much less. Why? The ATP and WTA seek to divide the current score (9,850 in the case of Spanish) between the mentioned 52 weeks.
This would involve be able to lose 189 points per week, although it would be necessary to see how a greater valuation is awarded to Grand Slams over the Masters 1000. In any case, if the total was always the result of the division, Nadal would only lose 945 points if he did not attend any event this season. With this, competitiveness by titles and prize money would take precedence over the relevance of the tournaments played in the remainder of the season in terms of ranking points. The particular conditions in which tennis will take place would relativize the importance in terms of ranking of the disputed events and would not distort the current system.
– Keep the ranking frozen and create a Race to establish the participants in ATP Finals and WTA Finals
It is the other option that is being considered and that would take pressure off the tennis players, but it would mean eliminating the great incentive that climbing positions in the ranking entails. Possibly it would be chosen in the event that there is a general opinion on the circuit opposed to resuming the competition and numerous tennis players opposed to playing an important part of tournaments. It is evident that both ATP and WTA do not want to give up the tournament at the end of the year that brings together the best, so a parallel classification would always be established to determine the best eight.
It has been speculated that the Grand slams, dependent on the ITF and the National Federations of the countries in which they are held, do not count in the ranking. That option seems distant and with it, this second alternative loses some weight. The decision will not be made until it is known with complete certainty that the season can proceed as planned in the stipulated schedules.