What Is Walkover In Tennis?

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What Is Walkover In Tennis?

In the world of tennis, matches are typically characterized by intense rallies, strategic plays, and fierce competition. However, there are instances when a player advances to the next round without even stepping foot on the court. This intriguing outcome is known as a “walkover.” In this blog, we will explore the concept of walkover in tennis, its causes, implications, and the impact it has on players and tournaments.

Defining Walkover In Tennis:

A walkover, also referred to as a “W.O.” or “default,” occurs when one player or team is unable or chooses not to participate in a scheduled match. As a result, their opponent is declared the winner by default, advancing to the next round without having to play a single point.

Causes Of Walkover:

Several factors can lead to a walkover in tennis, including:

  1. Injury or Illness: The most common reason for a walkover is when a player is unable to compete due to injury or illness. In such cases, the player may be advised by medical professionals or their team to withdraw from the match to avoid exacerbating their condition.
  2. Fatigue or Exhaustion: In certain situations, a player may be physically or mentally drained from previous matches or external factors, making it impossible or unwise for them to continue in the tournament.
  3. Personal Reasons: Unexpected personal circumstances, such as family emergencies, visa issues, or scheduling conflicts, can prevent a player from participating in a match, resulting in a walkover.

Implications Of Walkover:

  1. Advancement of Opponent: The player who receives a walkover automatically progresses to the next round without having to compete. This grants them additional rest time and potentially an advantage over their next opponent, who may have played a full match.
  2. Tournament Schedule: A walkover can disrupt the tournament schedule, leading to changes in match timings, court assignments, and potentially affecting the flow of the competition.
  3. Prize Money and Ranking Points: In most tournaments, players receive prize money and ranking points based on their performance. The player receiving a walkover will typically earn the same prize money and ranking points as if they had won the match on the court.
  4. Disappointment and Frustration: While a walkover can benefit the advancing player, it can be disappointing and frustrating for both players involved. The player forced to withdraw may feel a sense of missed opportunity, while the advancing player may feel deprived of the chance to compete and prove themselves on the court.

Preventing And Minimizing Walkovers:

Tennis authorities and tournament organizers continually strive to minimize walkovers by implementing various measures, such as:

  1. Player Health and Well-being: Emphasis is placed on player safety and well-being, including proper medical support, injury prevention programs, and closely monitoring player fitness levels.
  2. Scheduling and Rest Periods: Efforts are made to create a balanced tournament schedule that allows players sufficient rest between matches, reducing the risk of exhaustion or fatigue-related walkovers.
  3. Communication and Planning: Effective communication between players, their teams, and tournament officials is crucial to address any potential conflicts or issues well in advance, minimizing the chances of walkovers.


Walkovers, although relatively uncommon, are an inherent part of the game of tennis. They can occur due to various reasons, including injury, illness, fatigue, or personal circumstances. While a walkover grants an easy passage to the next round for one player, it can disrupt the tournament schedule and impact the overall dynamics of the competition. By prioritizing player health, implementing well-designed schedules, and fostering effective communication, tennis authorities aim to minimize the occurrence of walkovers, ensuring a fair and exciting tournament experience for players and fans alike.

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What Happens In A Walkover In Tennis?

When this happens in tennis, it results in what’s called a walkover—a situation where one player has withdrawn from the match before it even begins or during play without completing all necessary sets. In these cases, no points are awarded and instead, the match is forfeited, and the other player wins by default.

What Does Win By Walkover Mean?

An uncontested election is often referred to as a walkover when it is also referred to as winning “by default”. The word is used more generally by extension for an election in which the winner is not the only participant but where no opponent has a credible chance of victory.

How Many Points Is A Walkover?

Walkovers – If a team incurs a walkover they will be deducted three points and their opposition awarded a 3-0 victory. A team that incurs a walkover may be removed from any end-of-season knock-out tournament. If a team fails to turn up to play a match on 3 occasions, they will be immediately withdrawn from the league.

Do You Get Prize Money In A Walkover Tennis?

“A player or team who receives a walkover in any round will receive prize money for the round reached.”


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