Wimbledon situation was something nobody wanted says ATP boss
ATP President Andrea Guadenzi says that the organisation’s hand was forced in the Wimbledon saga.
The ATP opted to strip Wimbledon of its rankings points, a decision then mirrored by the WTA, following a ban instituted by organisers which prohibited Russian and Belarusian players.
Wimbledon took the decision on consultation with the government of the United Kingdom and some other local stakeholders but crucially did not consult the tours or the International Tennis Federation.
Gaudenzi believes the ATP had little choice, and had to strip Wimbledon of points in the interest of fairness.
The ban was the first based purely on nationality that Wimbledon has instituted since the 1950s and the aftermath of the second world war.
Wimbledon organisers are eager to avoid the tournament becoming a theatre for Russian propaganda.
Gaudenzi and the ATP have stressed that their actions do not constitute an endorsement of Russia or its widely condemned military action in Ukraine.
The ATP President is hopeful that the saga can prove to be the catalyst for a coming together in the world of tennis.
“As far as Wimbledon is concerned, we found ourselves in a situation where no one wanted to be,” Gaudenzi told a virtual press conference.
“We responded to a unilateral decision by Wimbledon and we would have preferred to take this decision together with everyone else, also to have a uniformity of action.
“Now in a few days the USTA will make its decision, Roland Garros has made its decision, and everyone goes their own way. Another reason why governance should be brought together. From our point of view it would have been hard for us to look away when there were 60 players involved in this decision, players who from their point of view were willing to do so many things, and who have done nothing wrong and who are not supporting what is happening.
“I understand the propaganda theme and the arguments brought by Wimbledon, but at the end of the day, calculating everything, we are a global sport, and we must use our platform to unite, without discriminating people owing to their passport.
“Let’s hope it will never happen again, and I hope it’s an accident which will bring us to sit at a table to talk. Sometimes you have to break an egg to make an omelette.”
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