September 24, 2022

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Tennis officials’ controversial decision not to award rankings for Wimbledon has resulted in the champions and runners-up in both the men’s and women’s singles events dropping in their respective world rankings.

The ATP and WTA — the governing bodies of men’s and women’s tennis — had good intentions when they stripped Wimbledon of its rankings status in protest against the All England Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing because of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

However, the stand has backfired spectacularly, with men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic dropping from third to seventh in the world a day after winning an incredible seventh Wimbledon crown.

Equally as controversial is Australian Nick Kyrgios falling from 40th to 45 in the world after reaching his maiden grand slam final in London.

The rankings fiasco threatens to cost Kyrgios an all-important seeding for the year’s final major, the US Open starting in New York on August 29.

Ordinarily, Kyrgios would have soared to 15 in the world for his Wimbledon run, placing him in position to claim a top-16 seeding at Flushing Meadows.

That would have ensured the 27-year-old couldn’t possibly run into a higher-ranked rival until at least the fourth round of the US Open.

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Instead, Kyrgios — unless he climbs the rankings in the next month, when he planned a well-earned break — will be at the mercy of the draw.

Fortunately for Kyrgios and the rest of the field, but unfortunately for Djokovic, the Serbian superstar won’t be playing the US Open after choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Had Djokovic been playing, Kyrgios could conceivably have faced Djokovic in the first round in New York as a result of the rankings debacle.

Even without Djokovic in the draw, Kyrgios could still strike any number of big-name rivals in the opening round if he doesn’t improve his position.

And, due to players’ rankings points not dropping off their records for a year, the decision not to award points at Wimbledon will continue to have ramifications for 12 months.

Composite image of Wimbledon women's finalists Ons Jabeur (left), clenching her fist, and Elena Rybakina, wearing a visor.
Neither women’s singles finalists — Ons Jabeur (left) nor Elena Rybakina — climbed up the rankings despite their best-ever grand slam finishes.(Getty Images)

Djokovic and Kyrgios aren’t the only stars to suffer, though. Elena Rybakina’s first grand slam title did her no good in the WTA rankings, with the Kazakh remained at world number 23.

The player she beat in Saturday’s final, Tunisian Ons Jabeur, went from second to fifth despite recording her best showing at a major.

French Open champion Iga Świątek — whose 37-match winning streak ended in Wimbledon’s third round — remains at number one.

Russian Wimbledon outcast Daniil Medvedev has also held on to top spot in the men’s rankings, even while not competing at the grass-court slam.

AAP/ABC

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