Paris (AFP) – The men’s and women’s professional tennis tours will not award ranking points at Wimbledon this year after the Grand Slam banned Russian and Belarusian players amid the invasion of Ukraine.
The WTA and ATP announced their unprecedented decisions Friday night, two days before the French Open kicks off – and just over a month before the match begins at Wimbledon on June 27.
In April, the All England Club said it would not allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in grasscourt slams.
Russian athletes have been banned from many sports, including World Cup qualifiers, since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February. Belarus assisted Russia in the invasion.
“The ability for players of any nationality to participate in tournaments on merit and without discrimination is central to our tour,” the ATP said in a statement. “Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP classification system. It also goes against our qualification agreement.”
The association, saying it takes its decision “with great regret and reluctance”, added that “our rules and agreements exist to protect the rights of players in general. Failure to respond to unilateral decisions of this kind would set a harmful precedent.” rest of the tour. The distinction in individual tournaments is simply not possible on a tour that operates in more than 30 countries. “
The WTA released a statement from its CEO, Steve Simon, speaking at Wimbledon. “Nearly 50 years ago, the Women’s Tennis Association was founded on the fundamental principle that all tennis players have an equal opportunity to compete on merit and without discrimination. The WTA believes that an individual who participates in an individual sport should not be penalized or prevented from competing for nationality or by decisions of the governments of their countries.
In addition, the International Tennis Federation said it would not award rating points to junior and wheelchair events at Wimbledon, stating that “the tournament organizers are not authorized to impose unilateral entry requirements”.
Notable tennis players affected by the suspension at Wimbledon include Daniel Medvedev, the US Open champion who recently climbed to number one in the rankings and is now No. 2. No. 7 Andrei Rublev, seed 7 Arina Sabalenka, reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year; and Victoria Azarenka, the former top seed who won the Australian Open twice.
Medvedev and Rublev are Russian. Sabalenka and Azarenka from Belarus.
Everyone will be able to play in Paris, and Medvedev on Friday avoided the Wimbledon theme.
“Right now, I’m focused on Roland Garros. I’m here,” he said at the pre-tournament press conference.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
“Lifelong travel trailblazer. Food nerd. Award-winning music enthusiast. Twitter guru.”