Andy Murray complains about the ATP ranking system and seems to support Rafael Nadal’s belief that the tour should use a two-year ranking to protect standout players who become injured. Players who are injured for six months or more can use a protected ranking to enter tournaments, but that does not affect how they are seeded.
Even though Nadal has won seven of the nine tournaments he entered this season, including Roland Garros, he dropped to No. 5 in this week’s rankings, behind Roland Garros runner-up David Ferrer. Ferrer added to his ranking points total by reaching the final, while Nadal didn’t add any points, as he also won Roland Garros in 2012.
Had Nadal not pulled out of this week’s tournament in Halle, he would have had a chance to be seeded No. 4 at Wimbledon. Under Wimbledon’s seeding formula, it appears that Nadal doesn’t have a chance to surpass Ferrer.
The formula, which rewards grass-court performance, is as follows: Take all points at the end of this week (June 17), add 100 percent of points earned for all grass-court tournaments in the past 12 months, and add 75 percent of points earned for the best grass-court tournament in the 12 months before that. Under that formula, Nadal will be behind Ferrer.
“That is unfortunately the way the ranking system works in tennis,” Murray told the BBC. “It’s a one-year ranking whereas with golf it is a two-year ranking, so even if one of the best [golfers] in the world gets injured, they can still maintain their ranking. In tennis, if you miss four or five months it is almost impossible to maintain your ranking. So Rafa will be seeded five for Wimbledon, which is tough as he is better than that. Unfortunately, that is how our ranking system works…
“I saw that with the bookies Djokovic is the favorite, I’m second favorite, then Rafa third, then Roger. But who knows with the way Rafa played at the French Open? He can beat anyone playing like that. But it’s a completely different surface and he hasn’t played on the grass for a year, so there will be some doubts there. He played incredibly well at the end of the tournament, especially against Djokovic, so physically he is in very good shape.”