WTA rules against stripping UK grass court events of points

WTA Tour
WTA

The WTA has ruled that ranking points will be awarded for next month’s UK grass-court events that will be run by the LTA despite the organisation’s opposition to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

In a decision that comes soon after the ATP made a similar ruling regarding the men’s events, and covers the WTA-sanctioned tournaments at Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne which will go ahead as planned.

Despite the twin rulings from the men’s and women’s professional tours Wimbledon could still be stripped of ranking points.

According to a report from the BBC, the decision is said to be finely balanced with a verdict expected from both the WTA and ATP in the next few days.

Players hailing from Russia and Belarus have been banned by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) from all UK grass-court tournaments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine with suspected support from the regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Wimbledon organisers mulled over their options in close consultation with the UK government before announcing the ban, stating it would be “unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players” at this summer’s Grand Slam.

The Lawn Tennis Association then followed Wimbledon’s lead in barring players from the offending nations from all the tournaments staged in the United Kingdom.

The stance has been criticised by a number of prominent players including World No 1 Novak Djokovic.

Players from both Russia and Belarus have been allowed to continue competing on the WTA and ATP tours, including at this month’s French Open, but have not taken part under their national flags.

The ATP Player Council had been in favour of stripping ranking points from tournaments.

However, both the WTA and ATP were wary of such a move due to the fact that a lot of players would have suffered as a result.

The removal of points could see players unduly punished as the points remain a valuable currency for the majority of players of the tours with entry to future tournaments determined by position on the official tour rankings.

The ATP has indicated that the ban is likely to generate some form of reactive sanction given that it contravenes the tour’s rules.

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