Professional tennis tours for women and men will not provide Wimbledon qualifying points this year as the All England Club bans players from Russia and Belarus in connection with the invasion of Ukraine.
Two days before the start of the French Open and a month before the start of Wimbledon on June 27, the WTA and ATP announced their unprecedented results on Friday.
This is a huge condemnation of the game’s oldest Grand Slam, and in a technical sense, turns the competition into an exhibition without ranking points.
The All England Club said in April that neither the Russians nor the Belarusians would be allowed to take part in the Bull-Court Grand Slam. The decision drew immediate criticism from the WTA and the ATP, as well as some key players, such as the reigning champions. Novak Djokovic.
“The focus of our tour will be on the ability of players of any nationality to enter the tournament on the basis of merit and without discrimination,” ATP said in a statement. “Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this policy and the integrity of the ATP ranking system.”
The ATP added that it had “taken this step with great regret and reluctance”: “Overall we have our own rules and agreements to protect the rights of the players. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if not observed, would set a damaging precedent.” Discrimination against individual competitors is not possible on tours operating in more than 30 countries. “
WTA President and CEO Steve Simon said the association “strongly condemns Russia’s current attack” but said it had violated its agreement with the All England Club tour.
“Nearly 50 years ago, the WTA was founded on the basic principle that all players have equal opportunity to compete without qualification and discrimination,” Simon said in a statement. “The WTA believes that individual athletes participating in individual sports should not be punished or barred from competing solely on the basis of decisions made by their nationalities or the governments of their countries.”
In addition, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has stated that it will not award ranking points for junior and wheelchair events at Wimbledon this year, explaining that “tournament organizers cannot impose unilateral entry criteria”.
Notable players affected by Wimbledon ban US Open champion, Daniel Medvedev, Recently reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is currently ranked No. 2; Male number. 7 Andrew Rublev; Female number. 7 Arena Sabalenga, Last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist; Y Victoria AzarenkoFormer No. 1 winner of the Australian Open twice.
Medvedev and Rublev are from Russia; Sabalenka and Azarenka are from Belarus.
Everyone deserves to compete in Paris, and on Friday Wimbledon Medvedev diverted questions about Russian politics.
“Now I’m focusing on Roland Garros,” he told a pre – match press conference. “I’m here.”
When asked about the possibility of legal action against All England Club, perhaps through the Arbitration Board for the Games, Medvedev said: “I will not go to court in person.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian athletes have been banned from participating in a number of sports, including the World Cup qualifiers. Belarus aided Russia in the invasion.
The American Tennis Association (USDA), which hosts the US Open, has not made any decisions regarding the players from Russia and Belarus; The match starts on August 29th.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.