‘Damaging to All Players on Tour’ – Wimbledon Expresses Deep Disappointment With the ATP and the WTA Over Their Shock Decision

Published 05/20/2022, 11:11 PM EDT

The geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe have affected the entire world. With rising inflation and supply chain issues, the situation is turning out to be grave. The sporting world has been affected too, owing to these tensions. In the wake of this conflict, one of the premier tennis tournaments, the Wimbledon Championships, announced a decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating this year.

However, many players on the tour criticized this decision by the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. Further, the ATP and the WTA decided to strip the tournament of ranking points this year. In light of this, the tournament has released a statement.

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Wimbledon defends its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes

After the ATP and the WTA stripped Wimbledon of ranking points, the tournament expressed disappointment at this ruling. Releasing a statement, it said, “As part of that response, the UK Government has set out directional guidance for sporting bodies and events in the UK, with the specific aim of limiting Russia’s influence. We have taken that directional guidance into account, as we must as a high-profile event and leading British institution. For clarity, it does not allow for automatic entry to Wimbledon based on rankings alone.” 

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and. Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021. Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during his third round match against. Croatia’s Marin Cilic. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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Explaining this decision, the tournament’s statement read, “After careful consideration against a variety of factors, we came to two firm conclusions that have formed the basis for our decision. First, even if we were to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players with written declarations, we would risk their success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime – which we could not accept. Second, we have a duty to ensure that no actions we take should put the safety or welfare of players, or their families, at risk.”

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Lastly, expressing disappointment at this ruling, it said, “We therefore wish to state our deep disappointment at the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for The Championships. We believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and damaging to all players who compete on Tour.”

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Huge blow to Novak Djokovic

The Serb is the defending champion at the Wimbledon Championships this year. He was due to defend the 2000 ranking points he won last year, owing to winning the tournament. However, with the ATP’s decision to strip the tournament of ranking points, Djokovic will lose 2000 ranking points after the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. Further, he will have to surrender his Number 1 ranking. In all likelihood, Medvedev will rise to the top spot after the Wimbledon Championships.

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Vatsal Shah

808 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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