What Does Walkover Mean in Tennis

Discover the meaning of walkover in tennis, its causes, impact, and examples. Unravel the significance of this term in the world of tennis.

Understanding Walkover in Tennis

Walkover is a term commonly used in tennis to describe a situation where one player or team is declared the winner of a match before it even begins. It can occur for various reasons, and understanding the implications of a walkover in tennis is essential for players, fans, and officials alike.

Causes of Walkover

There are several reasons why a walkover may occur in a tennis match:

  • Player Injury: If a player is unable to compete due to injury, their opponent is awarded a walkover victory.
  • Player Disqualification: Violation of rules or code of conduct can result in a walkover for the opposing player.
  • Player Withdrawal: A player may withdraw from a match before it begins, leading to a walkover for their opponent.

Impact of Walkover

A walkover can have significant consequences for all parties involved:

  • Player Advancement: The player receiving a walkover advances to the next round of the tournament without having to play a match.
  • Player Disappointment: For the player unable to compete, a walkover can be disappointing and frustrating, especially if it is due to an injury.
  • Fan Dissatisfaction: Spectators may feel let down when a match ends in a walkover, as they miss out on the excitement of seeing the players compete.

Examples of Walkovers

Walkovers are not uncommon in the world of tennis. In 2019, Serena Williams received a walkover into the Rogers Cup final when her opponent, Bianca Andreescu, withdrew due to injury. Similarly, Novak Djokovic advanced to the 2020 US Open fourth round after his opponent, Pablo Carreno Busta, retired from their match.


Walkover in tennis is a significant occurrence that can impact players, fans, and the overall outcome of a tournament. Understanding the causes and implications of walkovers is crucial for all stakeholders in the sport.

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