Tennis Walkover VS Withdrawal (Find Out The Distinct Difference Between The Two Terms Of The Game Of Tennis!)

Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Alex PT

A Tennis Walkover occurs when a player’s opponent fails to show up, resulting in an automatic victory. In contrast, a Withdrawal is when a player quits a match due to injury or other reasons. Walkovers are rare, with only a few recorded instances in major tournaments, while withdrawals are more common, accounting for about 5-6% of matches in Grand Slam events.

Tennis WalkoverTennis Withdrawal
Walkover happens when a match was canceled after been solidly organized with under one day notice or even possibly one of the players get late of over thirty minutes for an organized game with no concrete reason.Withdrawal happens when a tennis player withdraws his eligibility from a tournament before taking part in the event.

Tennis Walkover VS Tennis Withdrawal

AspectTennis WalkoverTennis Withdrawal
DefinitionA Tennis Walkover occurs when a player’s opponent fails to show up for the match, typically due to illness, injury, or other reasons.A Tennis Withdrawal happens when a player quits a match, usually due to injury, illness, or personal reasons.
Match OutcomeThe player who receives the walkover is automatically declared the winner of the match.The player who withdraws from the match forfeits, and their opponent is declared the winner.
Common ReasonsOpponent’s absence, disqualification, no-show.Injury, illness, personal reasons, disqualification.
PrevalenceRare occurrence, with minimal recorded instances in major tournaments.More common, accounting for approximately 5-6% of matches in Grand Slam events.
Tournament ImplicationsThe player receiving a walkover advances to the next round without playing.The player who withdrew may forfeit prize money, ranking points, or face penalties, depending on the tournament rules.
Impact on OpponentThe opponent of the player who received the walkover is disappointed as they do not get to compete.The opponent of the withdrawing player advances but might not feel the satisfaction of winning on the court.
Official StatisticsTypically recorded as a “W/O” in official match records.Noted as “Retired,” “Withdrew,” or “Walkover” depending on the circumstances.

Immediate Defaults

During a tournament, players are not tolerated to exhibit any violent behaviors. A player will immediately default if he intentionally hits the ball or throws his racquet to cause injuries to his opponent. Physical attacks on referees, spectators, another player, or any of the tournament officials. A player can also default if he commits any unsportsmanlike acts like spitting on anybody on the pitch or making racial, religious, or sexual abuse, according to the Friend at Court handbook. 

A player is not allowed to place a bet on tournaments. Such a player would be immediately defaulted by the tournament referee if found guilty of violating this rule. Any future connection with the tournament might also be deprived of such a player. 

No-Show Or Lateness Defaults

A player might be penalized or defaulted if he refuses to show up within 15 minutes of the scheduled time if a court is made available for match play. There are different kinds of penalties that can be given to such player who violates the rule. It all depends on the number of minutes in which the player was late. Penalties such as loss of the toss or serve selections. The worst case is if he comes later than 15  minutes or even decides not to show up at all, he is automatically defaulted. 

Code Violation Default 

During a tournament, if a player breaks a regulation or rule, it is known as a code violation. A point penalty system was organized by a popular tennis organization known as the United States Tennis Association to control unsportsmanlike behavior, and code violation, and help enhance fair play. Refusal to obey the tournament rules and regulations, refusal to go by the decisions of tournament officials, deliberately breaking your racquet, and intentionally delaying the game are all examples of code violations. The players are given warnings as soon as they commit a code violation. However, the player is penalized one point if he repeats the same offense. If he continues to commit a code violation again, he may be penalized for one game. After this, the next time he infringes on the code violation, he will definitely default. 


You would always see walkovers before the commencement of a match. A player who withdraws from a tournament before his first game due to personal reasons, sickness, or an injury, will lose the match and his opponent will be awarded a walkover. The opponent will emerge as the winner of the match and he’ll advance to the tournament next round. However, players who deliberately refuse to play or give flimsy excuses for not showing up may be defaulted.

A walkover situation can also be caused when tournament administrators make timing mistakes. For example, if the tournament administrator gives a player the wrong start time for his game, it will certainly lead to a walkover. 

A Typical Example Of a Walkover

For instance, a three-time French Open singles titleholder, Serena Williams, because of a left Achilles injury which she suffered at the US Open, withdrew from the 2020 French Open. This caused the would-be opponent of hers, Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, to progress by ‘walkover’. Williams said in a news conference that while she managed to “somewhat” nurse the injury involving her Sept. Ten US Open semifinal match and also the start of the French Open run on Sept. twenty-eight, she did not believe she might get through the majority of the competition. She revealed she “more compared to likely” will not play another tournament this season, ESPN reported.

What Is The Difference Between A Walkover, A Withdrawal, And A Default?

According to a book of rules and regulations from the United States Tennis Association for US tennis called The Friend at Court, the major disparity between a default and a walkover depends on who initiates the action. It is mostly the player who initiates a walkover when he decides to withdraw from a tournament due to personal reasons, illness, or even injuries. In rare cases, an adult on behalf of a junior player can also initiate a walkover. Apart from the tangible reasons stated above, refusal to play for any other flimsy reason will be treated as default. For example, players who refuse to play because they want to participate in other sporting events or to get home sooner. As we said earlier, an administrative error by the tournament can also cause a walkover. 

Due to a violation by a player, the referee or other tournament official can decide if a player would take part or even continue in the tournament. Take, for example, a player who is defaulted for receiving supplemental oxygen, injection, or infusion, a player who refuses to show up, and a player who is defaulted for coming late to the sporting event. 

For instance, Novak Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam single title winner was unlucky to be defaulted from his foreground in the U.S. Open game, and he was subsequently defaulted from the entire tournament for hitting the line judge with the tennis ball. Paolo Carreño Busta, who was his opponent, advanced to the next round. After the incident, Djokovic was severely punished for his unsportsmanlike behavior, for instance, he’s going to lose all the ranking points that he earned at the US Open. He will also be fined the prize money won at the tournament for hitting the ball at the line judge. 

Does A Walkover Count As A Loss?

Yes, it does. Any player who emerges as the winner as a result of a walkover will receive ranking points for advancement, according to USTA rules. 

A few other famous terms are used in the game of tennis like walkover and withdrawal. 

Ad court

It’s ordinarily each player’s left on the edge of the court.


A serve that moves unblemished and correctly lands in bounds on the opponent’s aspect of the court.


This’s the synonym of spin.

Advantage In Or Ad In

A place much more than a deuce in a tie game, setting him/her a single point from winning as well as providing the player that scores it the benefit.

Advantage Out Or Even Ad Out

It denotes the receiver’s advantage.

The Breakpoint

 If a player isn’t the server, however, wins the game, thus the breaking up of the serve.

Break Back

After a service break, a profitable receiver play is called Break Back.


Well-liked slang for a tiebreak.


A tennis match in which the winning player or maybe side must direct the adversary of theirs by two points and accumulate four points.

Game Point

Playing with the scoring of just one point can identify the outcome of the match.


Whenever a match has ended a statement is provided that a winner is decided.


A walkover happens when a match is canceled after being solidly organized with under one day’s notice or even when one of the players gets late over thirty minutes for an organized game with no concrete reason. However, Withdrawal happens when a tennis player withdraws his eligibility from a tournament before taking part in the event.

We’ve come to the end of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good information to help you know the difference between Tennis walkover and withdrawal. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thanks!!


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