Tennis in shock as Roger Federer loses ATP ranking for the first time in 25 YEARS after Wimbledon

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He’ll go down as one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, but for the first time in an astonishing 25 years, Roger Federer has dropped out of the official ATP Singles rankings. 

The 40-year-old Swiss legend appeared in the rankings for the first time in September 1997 as a spritely 16-year-old, but hasn’t played since crashing out in the fourth-round of Wimbledon last year due to an ongoing knee injury.

The rankings are based on a player’s results during the previous 52 weeks, and given he hasn’t played, he hasn’t earned any points – meaning he is now not one of the 2068 male singles players in the world that have an official ranking.

He previously held the record for most weeks at number one (310) until Novak Djokovic broke that record, and had a streak of 237 consecutive weeks when he was ranked number one.

Roger Federer after winning the Wimbledon Boys Singles title in 1998

Federer playing against Lorenzo Sonego during the 2021 Wimbledon tournament

Federer playing against Lorenzo Sonego during the 2021 Wimbledon tournament

It’s been an astonishing career already, with 103 ATP Single titles, 20 Grand Slams and an Olympic silver medal – but fret not Federer fans, he isn’t done yet.

‘I hope I can come back one more time. I’ve missed it here,’ Federer said when returning to the Wimbledon last week for an emotional ceremony to celebrate 100 years of the centre court.

Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon this year as part of 100th anniversary celebrations on centre court alongside other former champions

Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon this year as part of 100th anniversary celebrations on centre court alongside other former champions

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He admitted it was ‘awkward’ to be on a court that has given him eight Wimbledon titles without playing, but was grateful for the memories.

‘I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court … but it’s great to be here with … all the other champions. This court has given me my biggest wins, my biggest losses,’ said Federer.

The Swiss star could be seen laughing with the man who took his number one ranking record; the man who would turn out to be crowned champion for seventh time: Djokovic. 

Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer (right) have a laugh during the 100th celebrations

Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer (right) have a laugh during the 100th celebrations

Federer has undergone multiple operations on his knee after crashing out in the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, but he’s planning to return to the court for the Laver Cup (a tournament between Team Europe and Team World) in late September.

A return to the ATP Tour is currently planned in front of home fans at Basel, pending fitness, that begins on October 24.

Roger Federer (left) congratulates rival Rafael Nadal (right) for winning Wimbledon in 2008

Roger Federer (left) congratulates rival Rafael Nadal (right) for winning Wimbledon in 2008

Long-time friend and on-court foe, Rafael Nadal, expressed his sadness at a Wimbledon press conference earlier in the tournament that Federer wasn’t there competing. 

‘My greatest rival … all the things that we have shared together on court is difficult to describe the emotions,’ he said.

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‘I personally miss him (Federer) in the tennis tour and tennis of course misses him, tournaments, fans, everyone.   

‘I think Roger Federer is important in every single tournament. Not only Wimbledon. He’s a well missed player in every single event of tennis, without a doubt,’ said Nadal.

Roger Federer reacts after losing to Polish player Hubert Burkacz in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2021. He has not played since, and has now dropped out of the rankings

Roger Federer reacts after losing to Polish player Hubert Burkacz in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2021. He has not played since, and has now dropped out of the rankings

Fans flocked to social media to show their disappointment Federer has slid out of the rankings, with many describing it as ‘sad’, while another shared what the last Top 100 without Federer looked like.

It was certainly a blast from the past! 

Federer wasn’t the only player to lose their ranking – women’s great Serena Williams also dropped out, but only because the ATP decided not to award rankings points for Wimbledon due to the Russia-Ukraine situation.

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That being said, it is the first time since January 5, 1998, that neither Federer or Williams have been in the WTA/ATP top 100 – a remarkable feat for the legendary pair. 

Three of the greatest tennis players of the last few decades: Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the 2013 US Open

Three of the greatest tennis players of the last few decades: Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the 2013 US Open

The decision by world tennis’ governing body not to award rankings points for Wimbledon came after the tournament elected to ban Russian and Belarusian tennis players because of the ongoing Ukraine war.

Djokovic, despite winning the tournament, slid from number three in the rankings to number seven, while Kyrgios was denied to chance to rise to number 16 from 40 – instead sinking to 45.

Roger Federer in action at Wimbledon in 1998 for the boys title

Roger Federer in action at Wimbledon in 1998 for the boys title

The Wimbledon champ didn’t miss when asked about the decision in May.

‘I feel that the ATP could have found some middle ground as well. They could have stripped the points for this year, like they did, but they could have frozen the points from last year, just like it was the case during the pandemic,’ said Djokovic.

‘This way, it is very unfair towards me and other players who have done well last year at Wimbledon.’



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