What Does Walkover Mean in Tennis?

Tennis walkovers are code violations handed down by umpires in the WTA, ATP, and USTA when players fail to notify of their absence at least 24 hours before a match. In addition, a walkover can occur if a player arrives more than thirty minutes late without reason. If a walkover occurs, the opponent advances to the next round of the tournament. In tennis, a walkover does not result in a win or a loss because there was no match, but ranking points appear on the stat line.

In addition, the United States Tennis Association considers it a walkover due to an administrative error. Regardless, the player who is late or did not provide enough notice loses, and the other player wins.

We will discuss the walkover in more detail below.

When Did the Walkover Rule Start in Tennis?

English has used the word walkover since 1830. Walkover was first used in horse racing in the United Kingdom, where a rider had to walk over the finish line to be declared the winner. One could walk to the finish line of this race, so it was an easy win.

In the early 1900s, the term migrated into tennis from the United Kingdom to signify that a player could not win a match if they didn’t participate in the match. To determine who will serve first in tennis, a coin toss is conducted. The match doesn’t take place if that player isn’t present for the coin toss, so by default, the winner is the player who showed up.

Does a Walkover Count as a Win for a Player in Tennis?

“Won by walkover” is a tennis term, but it does not affect a player’s win-loss record. Due to a hamstring injury, Naomi Osaka was unable to compete during a tennis tournament between Victoria Azarenka and Naomi Osaka.

However, the WTA clarified that a “win by walkover” does not count as a win, and vice versa. Moreover, this walkover took place in 2020, and since 2018, this is the only tennis walkover that has taken place during the final round.

Can a Tennis Game Be Rescheduled Due to a Walkover?

There can’t be a reschedule when two players walk out of a tennis match.

What is the Difference Between Walkovers and Retirement in Tennis?

In all tennis leagues, a player retires when he or she is unable to continue a match due to illness, injury, or personal emergency. The key difference between a walkover and a retirement is that a walkover can occur before a match, while retirement can only occur during a match. Also, unlike a retirement, a walkover does not count as a win or loss.

In the first round of the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, Serena Williams retired due to a leg injury during her match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The WTA spokesperson once again stated that her retirement would affect her ranking points, especially in the WTA. When players win by walkover in the first round of the WTA tournament, they do not receive the same ranking points as they would if they had won regularly.

There is no change in prize money across the board, however. If, however, the player retired, those rules do not apply, and the ranking points and prize money remain the same.

What is the Difference Between a Walkover and a Withdrawal in Tennis?

Tennis withdrawal occurs when a player leaves a tournament before playing their first match and does not continue. Injuries, illnesses, and emergencies can cause withdrawals. In tennis, a walkover occurs when the first match is about to start or later in the tournament.

The main difference between a walkover and a withdrawal is that a withdrawal includes a notice to the referee about the player’s action. If a player is running late to a match without a good reason, a walkover may be more appropriate.

What is the Difference Between a Walkover and a Default in Tennis?

A walkover occurs when a player does not show up to play the match, as opposed to a default. Conversely, a default is the result of that player’s actions before, during, or after a game.

A default situation occurs when a player verbally abuses fans, players, or umpires, or shows a level of unsportsmanlike conduct. As an example, if a player throws a tennis ball at another player in frustration, the game goes into default, and that player loses.

In the meantime, a walkover occurs when that one tennis player did not show up.

Who Has the Most Walkover Wins in Tennis?

Tennis’ most walkover victories in 2022 were claimed by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Second place goes to Illie Nastase with 13, and third place goes to Raymond Moore with 12.

Conclusion: What is a Walkover in Tennis?

Tennis fans agree that a walkover announcement by an umpire before a match can be disappointing. Our hearts go out to the player no matter what his or her personal circumstances may be. The fact that it didn’t happen is still frustrating after spending money and time getting to the venue.

At the end of the day, most players consider a win to be a win. The action of a tennis match, however, would be more appealing to spectators and players. The professional tennis leagues, just like schools, will not tolerate lateness. Therefore, the walkover rule applies.

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