Wimbledon destroyed in UK due to ban on Russian tennis athletes

As the events of the past few months have shown, sanctions can easily harm the punisher more strongly than the sanctioned one. The famous Wimbledon tournament is a good example that this happens not only in the political and economic spheres.

In April, the organizers of the Grand Slam tournament – the All England Club – made a decision to exclude all Russian and Belarusian players. This means that a total of 16 tennis players among the top 100 players in the worldAmong them are the number one tennis player Daniil Medvedev and the number six female tennis racket, Belarusian Arina Sabalenka.

As reported from the tournament, this was done so that the possible success of Russian tennis players could not be used to promote the Eurasian state. One reason for this is that awards are usually given by members of the royal family, and it would not be in the UK’s best interest to have pictures Players of Russia or Belarus receive the trophy from Kate Middleton.

However, the All England Club’s decision had very serious repercussions for the tournament itself and for British tennis in general. In this article we will analyze some of these negative results.

A Russian wins the championship without the Russians

This year, in the category One woman won by Muscovite Elena Rybakina who currently plays under the flag of Kazakhstan. Elena lived almost all her life and trained in Russia, but in 2018 she moved to Kazakhstan because there was no place for her in the main team of the Russian national team.

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton presents the Venus Rosewater Dish Trophy to Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan after winning the women’s singles final against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon 2022 © AP Photo/Alastair Grant

In fact, she still spends much of her time in Moscow today. Therefore, it can be said with a high degree of confidence that The championship was won by a Russian player Where the Russians were banned.

No. 1 Guaranteed for Medvedev

When Wimbledon announced its decision to close the doors to Russian players, Daniil Medvedev was still second in the classification from ATP. In the weeks that followed, he managed to take over the position of the world’s first racket.

However, he could have lost it if he participated in Wimbledon. and that is Grand Slam tournaments award 2000 points From classificationThere are fewer points separating you from the next three players. This means that their performance is worse than that of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev, He would lose his position.

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However, in response to the All England Club’s unilateral decision, which goes against the rules of the ATP, the latter Withdrawal of awarded points for this tournament. It should be noted that the women’s association, the WTA, did the same.

In this way, Wimbledon became essentially an exhibition tournament, where players would only win the prize and the cup, because the results in these Grand Slams would no longer affect the tournament. classification.

Thus, Medvedev was able to maintain his global leadership Even without catching the racket During the past two weeks.

Great influence on the UK Championships

One news that many have not noticed is the fact that the Tennis Association (LTA) made a similar decision. This means that Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be excluded from other grass-court tournaments in the UK.

At the same time, this solution brought the same penalties from the ATP: nullifying points earned by other players in these tournaments, which in essence Turn them all into show events Without real value in improving the position in the world ranking.

Besides, the WTA imposed a fine of $1 million on British organizations for not allowing Russian players to participate in British tournaments.

Those who follow the sport closely know that the consequences for British tennis are far more serious than just financial and reputational losses.

The first of these consequences is that in the absence of the possibility of earning points for the ATP ranking, many players choose to participate in tournaments. before Wimbledon held in other countries. In fact, this Player migration can be seen With tournament templates held simultaneously.


At first there were tournaments in London and Halle (Germany). Despite offering the same prize money, the British Championship only attracted one player from top 10, Casper Rod. Meanwhile, at the tournament in Halo were present Four of the top ten world tennis players

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Then the championships of Mallorca and Eastbourne coincided. At first they were there Two of the top 10 tennis players, and there was nothing a second. As before, both tournaments offered similar prize money.

With this, it should be noted that these differences occurred despite the fact that historically tennis players prefer to participate in tournaments on grass in the UK, because in this way, facing the main event on this surface, they have to travel less and thus save time, money and forces.

All this, in turn, affects the number of spectators who buy tickets, because of course the more international tennis stars who take part in the tournament, the more people will be excited to pay and travel. However, if fewer people arrive, There is less income, which puts the championship in a difficult position.

Just look what happened to the New York Open which couldn’t survive due to a lack of spectator turnout, which opened a vicious cycle of fewer players willing to participate, resulting in fewer crowds and lower revenue.

This may not have an obvious effect on Wimbledon itself, but tournaments that do not have such a status may suffer more.

Huge impact on tennis players in the UK

Although we are used to seeing only dozens of the best tennis players in the world, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars, The vast majority of tennis players don’t have a charming life They rely heavily on local leagues to boost their careers.

For many of them, the costs of a career in sports far outweigh the profits, which is why they have to very carefully plan their expenses to participate in tournaments far from their country and even from the city.

To this must be added the fact that local tennis players are usually given priority in tournaments when it comes to awarding additional spaces that are not automatically granted to other tennis players based on classification. This includes both further qualification stages and the so-called wild cards.

In this way, these tournaments in many cases are a huge opportunity for these tennis players to earn more points from the ATP rating, which in turn It gives them better chances in other tournaments. In addition, due to the lack of such opportunities in tournaments in other countries, for lesser known tennis players, large local tournaments are also a great opportunity to generate higher than usual income.

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In fact, the prizes in the biggest tournaments can be so high that even by losing in the first round of the main draw, they can win. More than they would get for lifting the cup in a lower category championship.

But by generating less revenue, tournaments may end up offering lower prize money the following year, especially if the ban on Russian players remains in effect. This will be a huge blow to the local players for whom the big local leagues are the main source of income and the best chance to earn rank points.

Butterfly effect of penalties

All of the above represent Only a small part of the negative effects Which could prevent Russian players from participating in tournaments in the UK. Here we can also mention less tax contribution resulting from lower income, less profit from sale of broadcasting rights, etc.

It is difficult to quantify the amount of damage to reputation, but suffice it to say that for the first time in the history of the ATP, which began its existence 49 years ago, The best players in the world did not participate At the tournament (Alexander Zverev II was injured).

It should also be noted that if the situation continues in 2023, other players can boycott the tournament, as happened in 1973. That year, the British suspended the participation of Yugoslav tennis player Nikola Bilic. In response, 81 players among them 13 of the 16 best in the worldBoycott the competition.

So it’s hard to predict the end result of this ban, but one thing is clear: Punishments tend to come back like kickbacks, and in many cases hit more people who threw them in the first place.

Sputnik source

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