ATP unveils revised rankings systems due to COVID-19 stoppage

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 29, 2020 General view of Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his Final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

(Reuters) - A revised system for calculating world rankings when the tennis season resumes in August following a five-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic was unveiled by the governing body of men’s tennis (ATP) on Monday.

The rankings, a determining factor in a players’ ability to enter events and receive seedings, traditionally operate on a “Best 18” results basis over 52 weeks but will now cover a 22-month period from March 2019 through December 2020.

International tennis ground to a halt in mid-March, with Wimbledon being cancelled and the French Open being moved to September, and rankings were frozen.

The men’s Tour will resume on Aug. 14 with the Citi Open, ATP 500 event in Washington, D.C.

Among the key elements of the revised system, a player’s ranking will now be comprised of his “Best 18” results over the 22-month period. A player cannot count the same tournament twice in his breakdown.

The ATP also said tour-level tournament points added in 2020 that count in a player’s ranking breakdown will remain on a player’s ranking for 52 weeks, or until the event in question is played again in 2021, whichever comes first.

“The temporary changes to the rankings system have been made in consultation with the four Grand Slam tournaments and the ITF,” the ATP said in a news release.

“Should the 2021 season be impacted by COVID-19, further adjustments to rankings will be considered.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar