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In Tennis what Is A Walkover

A walkover in tennis happens when a player automatically advances to the following round without playing because their opponent is unwell, hurt, or receiving a code of conduct sanction.

It seems like a straightforward idea at first. The ATP, WTA, and other organizations like the USTA all handle walkovers in slightly different ways, and it’s important to understand these differences.

I’ll go over all the crucial information you require to develop a thorough understanding of walkovers in tennis, from ranking points to prize money and comparisons to related terms like retirement, default, and withdrawals. Even more, I’ll delve into a few pertinent statistics.

What is a tennis walkover? The ATP and WTA define it virtually the same.

A Match that did not begin because:
1. losing player was ill or injured or
2. losing player was subjected to penalties of Code of Conduct before the first serve of the match was struck or otherwise not permitted by ATP or tournament Supervisor to play.”

A player is awarded a walk over when their opponent has an injury, or illness, or was penalized for a code of conduct prior to a match. If they happen in the match a player “retires”. They “default” if it’s a code of conduct issue in the match. Before a tournament is a “withdraw” for personal issues or injury/illness.

The USTA defines a walkover as such.

“A walkover occurs when there has been an administrative error or when a player decides not to play a match in an event because of injury, illness, or personal circumstance.”


The ATP Tour awards ranking points as if the game was played however the WTA doesn’t award the full points. Tournaments do protect themselves financially if you have a situation where the two players can’t play in the finals.

“Prize money shall be paid only for matches played. If a final cannot be played, then each finalist shall be paid runner-up prize money. For purposes of this section, a match is played when it is won as a result of a retirement, default, walkover or no-show.”

The two organizations that oversee both men’s and women’s professional tennis are the ATP and WTA. The ATP defines a walkover as: Section 10 of their official rulebook defines a walkover as:

“Match that did not begin because: a) the losing player was sick or injured; b) the losing player was subject to Code of Conduct penalties prior to the first serve of the match; or otherwise the losing player was not permitted to play by the ATP or tournament supervisor.”

The definition given by the WTA is nearly identical. A walkover is what the WTA rulebook defines as the following:

“Match did not start because the losing player was sick, hurt, or was otherwise subject to Code of Conduct sanctions before the first serve of the match was struck.