The ATP will be counting on the power of math in the new COVID-inspired special ranking system to be used when the Tour resumes in August.

Officials on Monday revealed the formula, which will extend a player’s “best 18” results from 12-months to 22 months (March 2019 – December 2020).

That means competitors who may not feel safe playing amid the worldwide virus crisis will not necessarily be pressured to compete this season if they do not wish and will not lose out badly if they choose to stay away from a given tournament(s)..

Finer points of the revamp stipulate the use of points for the same event only once during the 22-month-period, even if the player has competed at the venue twice.

To keep the playing field level among the Top 10 elite, points earned at last season’s ATP Finals in London will not be counted in the ranking calculations to ensure fairness in the greatly shortened 2020 Race to London.

“(The plan) provides stability for players who cannot or prefer not to compete in 2020 due to health & safety (and) provides a system that can adapt to further changes in the calendar if necessary,” the ATP said in a statement.

“A player’s ranking will be comprised of his “Best 18″ results between March, 2019 and December. 2020.”

Points earned in 2020 will remain valid for the usual 52 weeks as the Tour works back to normality over a period of months.

And the sanctioning body added a warning if the virus pandemic does not calm down: “Temporary changes to the system have been made in consultation with the four Grand Slam tournaments and the ITF. 

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

The ruling should clear the way for Rafael Nadal, who is defending champion ‘s point at both the US Open and Roland Garros, to almost certainly skip the New York event beginning August 31 to concentrate on his clay strengths and Paris from September 27.

Current quarantine rules on both sides of the Atlantic could prevent free movement of players between the continents anyway, making it almost impossible for anyone to play both of the majors without being isolated for 14 days at one end or the other..

The entire tennis return amid the virus chaos remains a work in progress.

Main Photo:- Rafa Nadal, celebrates US Open 2019 win, may not have to defend his points


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