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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday May 20, 2022

 
Aryna Sabalenka

The ATP and WTA Tours announced the removal of ranking points from Wimbledon due to its ban of Russian and Belarusian players.

Photo Source: ATP

Wimbledon’s controversial decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships continues to be met with pushback from the tours, and the International Tennis Federation.

Tennis Express

On Friday the ATP and WTA Tours filed statements saying that they will not award ranking points to players at Wimbledon.

“The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system,” the ATP said in a statement. “It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement. Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022.

“Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour. Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries.”


The WTA quickly followed suit:

“The recent decisions made by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to ban athletes from competing in the upcoming UK grass court events violate that fundamental principle, which is clearly embodied in the WTA rules, the Grand Slam rules, and the agreement the WTA has with the Grand Slams,” the WTA said in a statement.

“As a result of the AELTC’s position that it will not honor its obligation to use the WTA Rankings for entry into Wimbledon and proceed with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to not award WTA ranking points for this year’s Wimbledon Championships.”


The WTA event took the step of putting the sanctions of events in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne on probation.

“In addition, each of the WTA-sanctioned events (Nottingham, Birmingham, and Eastbourne) will be penalized and their WTA tournament sanctions will be placed on probation,” the statement read. “Since alternative and comparable playing and ranking point opportunities exist in the same weeks as those events for the affected players, WTA ranking points will remain in place for those events.”

The ATP took a similar step, saying that because tour events in other cities are available to Russian players on the same dates as Queen’s and Eastbourne, they will allow ranking points to be awarded at those events.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) also took action, suspending ranking points to Wimbledon in 2022 for Juniors and Wheelchair tennis events which form part of the Grand Slam tournament.

“The ITF has determined that Wimbledon’s entry criteria banning Russians and Belarusians compromises the integrity of its international competition, in particular its ranking system, as there is a lack of alternative equivalent opportunities for players to compete for ranking points and prize money,” the ITF’s statement read.

Wimbledon released a statement confirming its original decision hours later:

"We appreciate that opinions differ in relation to our decision to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships this year, and we deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected," the statement read.

"However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia's global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made."


Earlier on Friday, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev had hinted that the tour was going to release a statement.

“It's interesting to see, because a lot of rumors going on. If they are going to make a statement, not make a statement. I'm waiting for this, and I think it's going to be made soon,” Medvedev said.

The World No.2 still plans to play three events on grass in 2022, at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Halle and Mallorca. He says he still believes he can play well on the grass and wants to take the time to improve his game on the surface.

“I like grass, and I want to continue improving,” he said. “In tennis if you don't go to South America, you have hard courts for most of the time, and clay court, grass court, hard court. I like to switch surfaces.

Again, first days on clay are always tough for me, but the same time I want to try to play good there. Same about grass. You know, usually I like playing grass. I want to make some good results. Halle is really strong tournament and if you manage to win it, it's great result and gives you a lot of confidence no matter for next tournaments if it's Grand Slams or not or if it's Masters 1000. So I'm planning to play three grass court events, which is 's-Hertogenbosch, Halle, and thinking to go to Mallorca.”

 

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