ATP’s new ranking system gives Gunneswaran advantage

The ATP’s revised ranking formula in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic helps players gather points over 22 months instead of 12.

By Subhayan Dutta

Indian tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran will look to retain points from some crucial tournaments that he played in 2019 after the world tennis body announced a revised ranking system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the new rules, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has extended the traditional 52-week (12-month) time-period to 22-months, where a player’s 18 best results will be considered. The duration now is from March 2019 to December 2020.

India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran hopes to return to the competitive tennis circuit with the US Open.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who rose to his career-highest ATP ranking of 75 in April last year, had reached the final of the Anning Challengers amongst other impressive displays. And the Chennai-lad will be looking to keep those points under the new system.

“The good news for me is that the points from the tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Anning will now get counted. This was the time when the tournaments stopped this year,” Prajnesh Gunneswaran told the Olympic Channel.

“This is probably an advantage that I will be getting. But I have to confirm that the points in March are not dropped off,” the 30-year-old said, reacting to ATP’s revised ranking system.

Though the revamped system allows players to have a prolonged period to get the best 18 performances, a player cannot count the same Tour-level tournament twice. In that case, the better of those two results will be taken into consideration.

All eyes on US Open

While a major consideration for revising the ranking system has been to account for players unwilling to compete this year for safety reasons, the tennis calendar has nevertheless included two Grand Slams and three ATP Masters 1000 events.

And Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who believes that the biggest advantage with the ranking system has been for the big-event winners, is eyeing to compete at the US Open later this year.

“The real advantage lies with players who have won bigger events like the ATP 500 ones – they will get to keep those points,” Prajnesh Gunneswaran pointed out.

“I have to think about it [travelling abroad] but I am keen..

“My future plans depend on the US Open happening as that will be the first call. Everything else isn’t that important,” he added.

Gunneswaran has represented his country five times in Davis Cup action, his last appearance coming against Croatia earlier this year.