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Wimbledon stripped of ranking points by ATP and WTA for banning Russian and Belarusian athletes

The ATP and WTA have stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points over its decision to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s championships due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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The ATP chief said players “should not be punished … because of their nationality or the decisions of governments”. Wimbledon organizers say they do not want the event to be used “for the benefit of the Russian regime’s propaganda machine”. Players from Russia and Belarus to compete as neutrals

Tennis governing bodies banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions after the invasion but allowed players from the two countries to compete as neutrals.

But Wimbledon took it one step further and banned the athletes outright, leading to the ATP and WTA tours having to strip the grand slam of its ranking points, effectively reducing the world’s most famous tennis tournament to an exhibition event.

“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.

“The Wimbledon decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from playing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP ranking system. It also violates our ranking agreement.

“In the absence of a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no choice but to remove Wimbledon’s ATP ranking points for 2022.”

WTA chief Steve Simon said athletes participating in an individual sport “should not be penalized or prevented solely because of their nationality or the decisions of their country’s governments”.

“The recent decisions by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to ban athletes from competing in the UK’s upcoming grass court events violate that fundamental principle,” said Simon.

“Due to the AELTC’s stance that it will not honor its commitment to using the WTA rankings to participate in Wimbledon and continue with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to no WTA ranking points for this. Wimbledon Championships of the Year.”

Wimbledon organizers say they had no choice.

The move by the AELTC, the organizer of the grand slam on the grass court, marks the first time players have been banned based on nationality since the period immediately following World War II when German and Japanese players were banned.

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The AELTC has previously said that the ban on Russian and Belarusian players was the only viable option under the guidance of the British government.

On Friday, the AELTC reiterated its position, adding that it was considering its options and talking with its grand slam peers.

“In addition, we remain unwilling to accept that success or participation in Wimbledon will be used to benefit the Russian regime’s propaganda machine,” the AELTC said in a statement.

“We would like to express our deep disappointment at the decisions made by the ATP, WTA, and ITF to remove ranking points for The Championships.

“We believe that these decisions are disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we have found ourselves in and are detrimental to all players participating in the Tour.”

Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players has been criticized by top players such as 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who called it unfair, and world number one Novak Djokovic, who said he did not support the decision.

“Our rules and agreements are there to protect players’ rights. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if not addressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the tour,” the ATP added.

“Discrimination through individual tournaments is not feasible on a tour that operates in more than 30 countries.

“We remain hopeful for further discussions with Wimbledon leading to an acceptable outcome for all concerned.

“More broadly, we believe that this issue reiterates the need for a unified governance structure in professional tennis so that such decisions can be made collaboratively.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are dissatisfied with the suspension of Russian and Belarusian players by the organizers of Wimbledon. (Getty Images)

While the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) responded to the Wimbledon ban by excluding players from the two countries from the planned tour events, the decision is still under review by the ATP and WTA and faces potential sanctions.

Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said it would not award ranking points to Wimbledon this year for junior and wheelchair tennis events.

“The ITF has determined that the Wimbledon eligibility criteria, which ban Russians and Belarusians, jeopardize the integrity of international competition, especially the ranking system, as there is a lack of equal alternative opportunities for players to compete for ranking points. And prize money,” according to the ITF. said.

Reuters/ABC

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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