The ATP on Friday came down hard as expected on Wimbledon, slamming that prestige major with a zero point diktat as repayment for the event banning entry of Russian and Belarus players.
With Putin’s invasion of Ukraine bogging down, the WImbledon decision remains written in stone; implementation means the absence of ATP No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and eighth-ranked Andrey Rublev – both Russian.
On the WTA, Belarus players Victoria Azaranka and Aryna Sabalenka will pay the price for the unacceptable politics of their Russian client country.
After weeks of uncertainty but plenty of hints, the ATP followed through on the obvious after a vote in favour by the Player Council, with the Board making the final recommendation to supremo Andrea Gaudenzi.
“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 statement read.
“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.”
With Wimbledon apparently taking direction from Boris Johnson’s government, the likelihood of a reversal is slim to none.
“If (the situation is) unaddressed, (it sets) 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 sanctioning body said.
“We remain hopeful of further discussions with Wimbledon leading to an acceptable outcome for all concerned.
“We believe this matter again highlights the need for a united governance structure across professional tennis so that decisions of this nature can be made in a joint manner.”
The ATP was more lenient with other British Tour events leading up to the June 27 start at the All Eng;and Club.
“We confirm that ranking points will remain at ATP Tour events at Queen’s (ATP 500), Eastbourne (ATP 250) and ATP Challenger events in the UK,” the ATP added.
“We have taken this decision on the basis that alternative playing opportunities are open to Russian and Belarusian players in those weeks (mainly in Germany) unlike during Wimbledon, which minimises any impact on the integrity of the rankings.”
Our condemnation of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine remains unequivocal. Immediate action was taken to suspend the ATP Tour event in Moscow and have Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under neutral flags on Tour.
In parallel, we have continued our humanitarian support for Ukraine, together with the other governing bodies of tennis, as well as providing direct financial assistance to many affected players.
Main photo:- ATP supremo Andrea Gaudenzi