ATP statement: Wimbledon slammed for ‘undermining integrity of the ATP Ranking system’
The ATP has hit out at Wimbledon for “undermining the ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit and without discrimination” after it confirmed that the grass-court major will be stripped of ranking points.
The move from the ATP comes after the All England Club (AELTC) and Lawn Tennis Association decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing at all events in the United Kingdom following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
This was in contrast to the ATP, WTA and ITF’s decision to allow players to compete as individuals.
In what appears to be a tit-for-tat battle, the ATP has responded by stripping The Championships of all ranking points and Wimbledon was criticised in their full statement.
“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour,” the statement read.
“The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement. Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022.
“Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour. Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries.
“We greatly value our long-standing relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions faced in responding to recent UK Government guidance. However, we note that this was informal guidance, not a mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed declaration.
“Our internal discussions with affected players in fact led us to conclude this would have been a more agreeable option for the Tour. We remain hopeful of further discussions with Wimbledon leading to an acceptable outcome for all concerned. More broadly, we believe this matter again highlights the need for a united governance structure across professional tennis so that decisions of this nature can be made in a joint manner.
“Separately, as previously announced, we confirm that ranking points will remain at ATP Tour events at Queen’s (ATP 500), Eastbourne (ATP 250) and ATP Challenger events in the UK. We have taken this decision on the basis that alternative playing opportunities are open to Russian and Belarusian players in those weeks, unlike during Wimbledon, which minimises any impact on the integrity of the rankings. Sanctions related to LTA’s violation of ATP rules will be assessed separately.
“Our condemnation of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine remains unequivocal. Immediate action was taken to suspend the ATP Tour event in Moscow and have Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under neutral flags on Tour. In parallel, we have continued our humanitarian support for Ukraine, together with the other governing bodies of tennis, as well as providing direct financial assistance to many affected players.”
Madison Keys stuns Iga Swiatek for first win over reigning World No 1
Madison Keys swept to a straight sets victory against Swiatek, who looked far from her best.
Daniil Medvedev to face home hope Taylor Fritz in Cincy last eight
Daniil Medvedev is set for a first competitive meeting with Taylor Fritz.
Petra Kvitova comes through see-saw battle with Ons Jabeur
Petra Kvitova dropped some bombs on Ons Jabeur.
What Nick Kyrgios needs to do to compete on the ATP Tour
Greg Rusedski believes Nick Kyrgios would be better off focusing on things that he can control, like his own fitness.
US Open 2022: Injury cloud hangs over women’s draw
Injury concerns have afflicted the big names of the WTA Tour.
Nick Kyrgios ‘unravelled’ against Taylor Fritz as pundit says he needs ‘to get stronger’
Injury cloud hanging over Nick Kyrgios ahead of US Open.
Andy Murray could drop a surprise retirement announcement at any time
Andy Murray feels he will know when he has played his last match.
Emma Raducanu vs Jessica Pegula TV and streaming info: US Open champion looking to end hoodoo
Can Emma Raducanu win three matches in a row for the first time since the US Open?
Iga Swiatek calls for new balls as she slams ‘horrible’ US Open balls that ‘fly like crazy’
Iga Swiatek feels officials have made a balls-up.