Wimbledon stripped of ranking points following ban on Russian players | Wimbledon

Wimbledon stripped of ranking points following ban on Russian players | Wimbledon

The ATP and the WTA have decided to sanction Wimbledon for his decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament by taking away ranking points from the tournament this year.

The decision marks the most significant split between the governing bodies of tennis in a long time. This means that Wimbledon will essentially become an exhibition event in the tennis ecosystem, with players unable to earn ranking points this year as they do in all other official tournaments. Those who performed well in last year’s edition will not be able to defend their points, which could significantly disrupt the standings.

“The ability for players of any nationality to participate in tournaments based on merit and without discrimination is fundamental to our Tour,” the ATP said in a statement. “Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our ranking agreement. no change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no choice but to remove the Wimbledon ATP Rankings points for 2022.”

In their statements, the ATP and WTA pointed out that by banning Russian and Belarusian players, Wimbledon violated their ranking agreements: “Recent decisions taken by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to ban athletes from participating in future UK grass-court events violates this fundamental principle, which is clearly enshrined in the WTA rules, the Grand Slam rules and the agreement that the WTA has with Grand Slam tournaments,” the WTA said.

Additionally, the ITF announced the removal of points from junior and wheelchair tournaments at Wimbledon.

Late on Friday evening, the All England Club responded to the governing bodies expressing their “deep disappointment” at the positions of the ATP, WTA and ITF and affirming their own decision: “Given the position taken by the UK government to limit the global influence of Russia, which has abolished automatic ranking entry, and the widespread response from government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a world-renowned sporting event and a British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made,” said the All England Club.

In April, Wimbledon announced that it would not allow Russian or Belarusian players to participate in the tournament in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The All England Club cited the possibility of the Russian government using any Russian player’s success as propaganda during the invasion and British government directives as reasons for the decision.

With the popularity and significant revenue generated by Grand Slam tournaments, the retention of ranking points is one of the few options the tours have to exert their power over Wimbledon. The Russian and Belarus players have been cleared to compete elsewhere as neutral athletes and they will feature at the French Open, which begins on Sunday.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia reacts during the men's singles fourth round match against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland at Wimbledon on July 6, 2021.
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev is the most high-profile player unable to compete at Wimbledon. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

The ATP further disputed Wimbledon’s claims that its choices were limited by UK government guidelines: “We greatly appreciate our longstanding relationship with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions we have had to make. had to face to meet the recent directives of the British government. However, we note that these were informal guidelines, not a mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed statement.

The Guardian understands that there is a significant divide between players both over the initial Wimbledon decision and the reaction from tennis’ governing bodies. While some players have already voiced their unease with Wimbledon’s initial decision and the ATP Players’ Council recommended the removal of ranking points, more than 90 players opposed the points deduction, some writing to the tours and criticizing player advice for not representing their views.

Despite the LTA’s decision to follow Wimbledon’s lead in denying players entry to ATP and WTA pre-season events, both tours have also opted to retain points at UK warm-up tournaments. However, the LTA and its tournaments will be subject to disciplinary action by the WTA.

Aleksandr Dolgopolov, a recently retired Ukrainian player who returned to Ukraine to enlist in the army, criticized the decisions of the tennis governing bodies on social media: “Well done @atptour and @WTA, you made the propagandist happy Russia’s N1 taking points at Wimbledon. Probably will do it all over the rest of Russian propaganda. Very bad decision. I can’t sit on 2 chairs,” he said.

While the possibility of Russian and Belarusian players taking legal action against Wimbledon has been discussed, Daniil Medvedev, Russia’s ATP No. 2 and most high-profile player unable to compete at Wimbledon, has gave his views on the ban during his press conference on Friday. : “[It’s] I don’t make these decisions, if I can’t play I won’t go to court for this one.

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