It’s a dark day for the tennis community after Swiss icon Roger Federer finally hit a previously unthinkable 25-year first.
Tennis icon Roger Federer has dropped out of the ATP men’s singles rankings for the first time since September 1997.
Earlier this year, the ATP Tour announced that Wimbledon, the world’s most prestigious tennis event, would be stripped of ranking points in response to the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament following the invasion of Ukraine.
The rankings points from the 2021 event were not frozen, leaving players with no chance of defending points won at The All England Club last year.
It meant that 20-time grand slam champion Federer will cease to exist on the ATP rankings because his only remaining points came from his quarter-final run at Wimbledon last year.
Meanwhile, American tennis legend Serena Williams has been wiped from the top 1000 of the WTA Tour’s rankings.
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and runner-up Nick Kyrgios also dropped several places on the rankings after losing their points from last year’s tournament, not gaining any benefit from how they performed over the past fortnight.
Like an amateur player, Roger Federer is officially UNRANKED today
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) July 11, 2022
However, Federer might not be done at Wimbledon, revealing he was going to try to “come back one more time”.
Speaking in May when the decision was handed down to strip Wimbledon of rankings points, Djokovic said the ATP could have frozen the points from last year so it wouldn’t affect people too much.
“I feel that the ATP could have found some middle ground as well. They could have stripped the points for this year, like they did, but they could have frozen the points from last year, just like it was the case during the pandemic,” he said at the time.
“This way, it is very unfair towards me and other players who have done well last year at Wimbledon.”
“Of course it’s a very unique and weird situation, I must say. Of course a grand slam is still a grand slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child.
“I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else. But again, there has to be some standards or criteria — some respect, mutual respect, I think.
“It’s hard, really. It’s hard to say what is right, what is wrong. This is one of these kind of decisions and situations where there is always going to be someone that will suffer more. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation for everyone.”
Speaking to reporters after the Wimbledon men’s singles final on Sunday evening, Kyrgios claimed that Federer was the “toughest opponent” he had ever faced on the court.
“I thought I put myself in a position to win today, but (Djokovic) doesn’t make you feel as bad as Federer does at times,” he explained.
“Federer, out of the other three guys, can make you feel really bad. And he makes you want to leave the court. He can make things seem really quick and the court’s really small.
“Nadal and Djokovic, they allow you to play a little bit from the back and then if you’re playing not great, you struggle. But Federer can really take it to you and get you off the court really quick.”