There are many terminologies in tennis about which many people are either confused of or not aware of. There are several terminologies like, stroke, tiebreak, and volley. Walkover is another such term about which many people are not aware of. In this article we are going to discuss in detail about, What is a Walkover in Tennis? Meaning, Rules, Stats, Examples & Why It Happens?
What is a Walkover in Tennis?
A Walkover is said to have occurred when a player decides not to play a match in an event because of injury, or illness. It also happens because of an administrative error. Refusal to play for any other reason is treated as a Default. In tennis, a player automatically advances to the next round without playing if their opponent is ill, injured, or subject to a code of conduct penalty leading to a Walkover. Also Read: Top 10 Best Backhands in Tennis of All-Time
Origin of The Word “WALKOVER”
The word originates from horseracing in the United Kingdom, where an entrant in a one-horse race run under Jockey Club rules has at least to “walk over” the course before being awarded the victory.
In 1908, Wyndham Haswell won an Olympic gold medal in the men’s 400 meters by walkover. Instead of racing, he simply had to jog to victory because his competitors refused to compete. Somewhere along the way, tennis and many other sports adopted the term, broadly referring to an uncontested win.
Walkover According To The ATP & WTA Rulebook
As discussed above tennis has two main official governing bodies, the ATP & WTP. There are several rules as per section 10 of the rulebook maintained by ATP & WTP. ATP has given a general definition of a walkover and certain rules along with it.
ATP defines a walkover as given below “Match that did not begin because”
- a) losing player was ill or injured or
- b) losing player was subjected to penalties of Code of Conduct before first serve of the match, was struck or otherwise not permitted by ATP or tournament Supervisor to play.”
The WTA’s definition is very identical. “Match did not begin because”
- a) losing player was ill or injured or
- b) losing player was subjected to penalties of the Code of Conduct before first serve of match was struck or otherwise not permitted by the WTA or Tournament official to play.”
The only contrast here is that the ATP uses ‘Tournament Supervisor,’ while the WTA follows it with ‘Tournament official’. Also Read: 10 Best Forehands in Tennis of All-Time
Surprising Fact About a “WALKOVER”
Although the walkover doesn’t negatively impact the winning streak, the walkover does not count as a win. FOR EXAMPLE – a person wins 10 matches without receiving a walkover. While playing his 11th match, he is given a walkover by the opponent. In this case, he will be awarded the win but it will not be counted as off. So, the total number of wins will be 10 itself, however, he will proceed further in the tournament. Also Read: What are the 3 Types of Tennis Courts?
What is the Difference between Walkover and a Default?
Walkovers often occur due to a player not being able to play the next game because of an accident that happened during the game or warm-up. Walkovers are more common at the end stages of a tournament as swapping an injured or incompetent opponent is no longer an option. In these cases, the opponent is declared the unopposed winner and it is necessary to award a walkover.
Disqualification of a player in a match by the chair umpire after the player has received four code violation warnings, generally for their conduct on court. A default can occur with less than four code violation warnings if the code violation is judged severe enough to warrant it. Default is generally of 3 types.
- Immediate Default.
- No-Show Default or (Lateness)
- Code Violation Defaults.
If a player injures his opponent by throwing his racket or by hitting the ball, he immediately defaults for this reason. Other reasons for an immediate default are but not limited to, physical attacks against another player, tournament official or spectator.
If a court is available for match play and a player has not checked in within 15 minutes of the stipulated time, he will be penalized. Depending on the number of minutes the player is late, the penalties include the loss of the toss — this determines who serves first, and in the loss of up to three games.
Code Violation Defaults
A code violation is when a player does not follow a rule which is mandatory. The ATP set up a penalty system to curb code violations and help maintain fair play in the matches. Examples of code violations are deliberately breaking your racket, audible profanity, refusing to follow a tournament official’s instructions and deliberately delaying the game by doing unnecessary things. Also Read: 3 Best Tennis Games for PC
FAQ’s Related to What is a Walkover in Tennis? Meaning Rules Stats Examples & Why It Happens?
Q. Is walkover considered a loss?
Ans. It’s neither a match win nor a loss because the event didn’t take place, so each player’s record remains the same.
Q. What does winning walkover mean?
Ans. Won very easily