What is a walkover in tennis? | Tennis Walkover Explained

The term “walkover” derives from horse racing, where an easy win for a jockey is described as “walking over the course.” It has been used in tennis since the early 1900s.

A walkover is when a player wins a match without actually competing because the opponent has withdrawn before the start of the match.

Walkover in tennis:

A tennis match starts with a coin toss, then one player serves for two points and then the other player serves. The player who wins the most total points wins the game. If the players tie at 9-9, they play until one person has two more points than his or her opponent. 

But if one of the players withdraws before the first ball is served (e.g., because he or she is injured or ill), that person loses by “walkover.”

So technically speaking, when someone wins a tennis match by walkover, it means that he or she actually didn’t win anything but still received a trophy and gets to add another victory to his or her tennis resume.

What you should remember:

1) A tennis walkover is when a player wins a match without actually competing against his or her opponent because the opponent has voluntarily withdrawn before the start of the match.

2) Tennis walkovers happen more often during qualifying rounds of tennis tournaments or in informal games between friends.

3) A tennis player can give him or herself a tennis walkover by informing the opponent that he or she will not be able to play before their round begins and being withdrawn from the tennis tournament as a result.

4) In some circumstances, it may also mean that one of the two players in a tennis match is trying to gain an unfair advantage over the other.

5) A tennis player cannot lose by walkover unless his or her opponent fails to show up for their match.

6) The term “walkover” derives from horse racing where an easy win for a jockey is described as walking over the course.

7) Tennis walkovers are voluntary withdrawals which mean withdrawing from tennis tournaments before the round begins and being withdrawn as a result of not showing up.

8) Sometimes tennis players give themselves tennis walkovers because they feel like they won’t win due to an injury or illness.

9) Any tennis player who enters a tennis tournament can be given a tennis walkover if he or she unexpectedly withdraws before their match starts.

10) Tennis walks over are very different from any other sports in the sense that tennis players cannot lose by walkover unless their opponent fails to show up for their match.

Why do players ask for or give walkovers?

Walkovers are given by players who feel they cannot compete with their opponents on that day. It might be because of an injury or being too tired and you just don’t want to go through with it anymore, etc.

In some circumstances, it may also mean that one of the two players in a tennis match is trying to gain an unfair advantage over the other.

Who can ask for a walkover?

A tennis player can ask for a walkover if he or she feels like he or she won’t win the match because of some sort of injury, illness, or other reason.

Who can give a walkover?

A tennis player can give a walkover when he or she has entered a tennis tournament and then realized before their match that they cannot play. 

If the tennis player gives themself the walkover then that is not usual practice but it happens from time to time.

How often are tennis walkovers seen?

In tennis matches, it is relatively rare for one person to win by a walkover because players generally know they have to compete if they sign up for a tennis match.

Walkovers happen more frequently during qualifying rounds of tennis tournaments or in informal games between friends.

Can someone ever lose by a walkover?

Yes, sometimes players give themselves a walkover when they feel like they aren’t going to win because of an injury or illness. Or if one player does not show up at all then that player loses by a forfeit.

A tennis match might even end in a forfeit if both players fail to show on time for their match so tennis players need to be careful when entering tennis tournaments.

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