Tennis has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic for much longer than anyone could have predicted. Following the significantly shortened 2020 season, cancellations of tournaments are unfortunately continuing into 2021. The WTA has now made some adjustments to the ranking system to adapt it to the current situation and make a foundation for a hopefully seamless transition to the traditional 52-week ranking system.
To be honest, the adjustments are so complicated that I can’t absolutely wrap my head around them. The WTA made four main points:
- Return to the traditional 52-week ranking system in the fairest possible way
- Whenever possible, WTA points should be on a player’s ranking for a minimum 52 weeks and not exceed 104 weeks
- Players should have the opportunity to defend points that are dropping
- When WTA ranking points drop, they will drop at 100%
The changes will take affect on April 5, after the completion of the Miami Open.
The WTA’s latest ranking update pic.twitter.com/8jQGvCKAKR
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) March 25, 2021
What’s intriguing is that Bianca Andreescu’s 2019 Indian Wells points will continue to boost her ranking for quite a while. If a 2019 tournament was completely canceled in 2020 and is still not scheduled in 2021, points earned at such an event will drop off at the time the event is next scheduled. This means that the world No.9 will continue to hold on to her 2019 BNP Paribas Open points, as the 2021 edition of the event has been postponed until further notice.
Moreover, reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek will keep those points until October, as 2020 points will stay on for 52 weeks if the points earned are better than the 2021 results or the player does not compete at the event in 2021.
Read the WTA’s detailed explanation of the adjustments and let me know in the comments if you notice any other interesting ranking scenarios.