The organizers of the classic lawn in London decided in April not to allow tennis professionals from Russia and Belarus this year. This will not take part in the tournament, among others, Daniil Medvedev, Andrej Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka. A step that was not approved by many – the WTA and the ATP protested against it. Now they pulled their own consequences.
“The possibility for players of all nationality to participate in tournaments based on their performance and without discrimination is of fundamental importance for our tour,” said a message spread by the men’s professional organization. This decision “undermined the principles and the integrity of the ATP ranking system”, so it was therefore decided with “great regret and reluctance” to withdraw the ATP ranking points for the tournament, it continued.
Individuals should not be punished for decisions of the governments of their countries because of their nationality
A short time later, the WTA also took the same consequence. One is “of the opinion that individuals who participate in an individual sport are not punished for decisions of the governments of their countries because of their nationality and should be excluded from the competition,” wrote the women’s organization in their message.
In addition to the Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon, the events in Nottingham, Birmingham, and Eastbourne are also affected by the decision. Although the Russian attack on Ukraine should be “sentenced to the sharpest”, the organizers’ decision in Wimbledon “fundamentally” violates the WTA principles.
The organizers in Wimbledon showed themselves “deeply disappointed” over the step of ATP and WTA. “This is disproportionate and damages all players who take part in the tour,” said their explanation. Regardless of this, one wanted to continue to hold on to the spell against Russians and Belarussia: “We are still unacceptable to accept that success or participation in Wimbledon is used by the Russian regime’s propaganda machine.”
The third Grand Slam tournament of the year will take place from June 27 to July 10th. Wimbledon is the first event that excludes tennis professionals because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.