ATP, WTA remove ranking points from Wimbledon over Russians ban
Wimbledon had banned Russian and Belarusian players over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The ATP and the WTA – the men’s and women’s governing bodies – announced on Friday that this year’s events at Wimbledon will not carry any ranking points, in retaliation for the All England’s Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships.
Wimbledon announced last month that Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to play in this year’s event because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, citing government guidance and the desire to avoid any possibility the Russian government could use the event as propaganda.
The decision provoked criticism from many players and on Friday evening, the ATP and WTA released statements confirming that this year’s event will not offer any ranking points.
The WTA then followed suit soon after the ATP statement, saying that Wimbledon’s decision violate its founding principle that “all players have an equal opportunity to compete based on merit and without discrimination”.
But Wimbledon issued a statement of its own, saying it is standing by its decision.
ATP: players should have been allowed to sign anti-war declarations
The ATP said it noted that Wimbledon said it had followed government guidance but also noted that the guidance had also suggested it could have allowed players to play if they signed a declaration saying they were against the war.
The ATP said its players would have preferred the second option. Wimbledon said that any declarations may put the families of Russian and Belarusian players in danger.
“Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour,” the ATP said. “Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries.”
The UK Lawn Tennis Association has also refused entry to Russian and Belarusian players to the country’s grass-court tournaments but the ATP said they would retain ranking points because players have the option of playing a different event in another country.
The International Tennis Federation also said the junior events and wheelchair events would also not carry any ranking points.