There are plenty of players making their way up the tennis rankings. Remember, Emma Raducanu wasn’t even in the top 350 this time last year. However, some very well-known names are slipping down them. Can players such as Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer and Andy Murray climb the rankings again?
It’s not just a bad run of form that can see a tennis player slide down the rankings. Getting injured can result in a player seeing their ranking plummet. Ask Andy Murray about that one. The former Wimbledon champion found himself down to 839th four years ago. He slipped 690 places in a fortnight.
Murray defied the odds and made a comeback according to some British sports betting apps, but it hasn’t been easy for him. February saw him finally make it back into the top 100 for the first time in four years. With him due to be not playing the clay court season, he may be outside the top 100 again soon.
Another problem for a player is when the points earned for winning a title or playing in a final expire. Naomi Osaka was ranked second in the world this time last year. The Japanese player had won the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open. However, time off the circuit and then an early exit in the 2022 Australian Open have seen her now ranked In the 80s. For Osaka though, just “having fun” on court is her main priority.
Inactivity hasn’t helped the rankings of Serena and Venus Williams. Serena was ranked 242nd in the listings published on February 13, with Venus down at 466. In the men’s rankings, Roger Federer has slipped down to 30th and Dominic Thiem is now outside the top 50.
Poor form can hit any tennis player and former Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin is in that situation. 2022 began with her 12th in the rankings but the American is now battling to stay in the top 100.
Making your way back up the rankings isn’t an easy task. It’s not the same as when a player is given a protected ranking. Players may have to rely on wildcards to play in tournaments or even go into the qualifying rounds.
Then there’s the problem you get with the draw. Imagine an unseeded Naomi Osaka at a top tournament. Who on earth would fancy drawing her in the first round? However, it’d be difficult for Osaka too. The Japanese player could easily draw Ashleigh Barty in the first round if her ranking doesn’t start rising.
That’s been the situation with Andy Murray. As he’s been trying to climb back up the rankings, he’s been given some tough draws against seeded players. He beat Nikoloz Basilashvili at Wimbledon last year and the 2022 Australian Open. In New York though, he ended up having to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round.
Some players can of course overcome such problems. In 2017, the Australian Open saw a final between the ninth and 17th seeds. You might think that would have been a shock, but it just happened to see another classic battle between Rafa Nadal and the winner of the title that year, Roger Federer.
Rankings don’t mean everything, but they can make life a bit easier. Watching players such as Osaka, Thiem, Brady and Kenin battling to regain their former high places is going to be entertaining to watch in the coming months.