Andrey Rublev urges Wimbledon and ATP to end ‘toxic relationship’ and work together
Andrey Rublev has called on the powers that be to sort out the mess that tennis finds itself in as the “toxic relationship” between Wimbledon and the ATP could “destroy” the sport.
There is a standoff between the two parties after the ATP as well as the WTA opted to strip Wimbledon of ranking points following the All England Club’s (AELTC) decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the grass-court Grand Slam.
Despite the ATP and WTA’s retaliation and criticism from some players, AELTC has made it clear that they won’t change their stance and it means Rublev as well as the likes of world No 2 Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov, Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka won’t compete at SW19 this year.
Some have suggested that players could skip Wimbledon as it will be seen as an “exhibition” event due to the lack of ranking points with four-time major champion Naomi Osaka the most high-profile player to admit she could miss the tournament.
World No 7 Rublev shared his views on the turmoil that the sport finds itself in.
“I will be honest, Wimbledon they broke the agreement with the ATP. When you have a deal, you cannot break it and they did it,” he said.
“I think it [decision to strip them of points] is more to show to tournaments that they cannot do whatever they want, it’s more about team work.
“Tennis, in my opinion, is the only sport where we need tournaments to work together and tournaments need players to work together and when we have a toxic relationship, like now, only bad things can happen.
“You let tournaments do what they want and in the end nothing good is going to happen. Or you take a stand and say ‘enough from now on let’s work together’ because if something happens to the tournament, players need to defend it and if something happens to the players, tournaments also need to defend [them].
“Only by working together, tennis can be more successful.
“Even if Wimbledon goes with the Slams and they try to create another tour, it will only destroy tennis, it will destroy the glory of tennis for many, many years.
“In the end, there is only one way and it is to work together and not have a toxic relationship.”
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