ATP Tour strips Wimbledon of ranking points over Russian and Belarusian ban

Male players at this year’s Wimbledon will not receive ranking points after the ATP punished the tournament’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players.

Last month, the All England Club announced that competitors from Russia and Belarus would not be welcome at Wimbledon following the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

That decision has now forced the ATP Tour to react and strip the Grand Slam of its ranking points.

In a statement, the ATP said: "The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour.

"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."

The statement goes on to underline the ATP's stance against the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It reads: "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."

Reaction to the news

Britain's Dan Evans reacts

Britain's number two men's player Dan Evans reacted to ATP's decision, telling the BBC: "If we're sticking it solely on tennis and not politics there should be points for Wimbledon."

Former Ukrainian professional tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky also hit back, tweeting: To say that I am disappointed in @atptour would be understatement.. Never would expect that anyone can stand on the side of invaders and murderers."

In previous weeks, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both criticised Wimbledon's decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus.

Speaking at the recent Madrid Open, Nadal said: "I think it's very unfair of (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues ... it's not their fault what's happening in this moment with the war."

Djokovic, on the other hand, compared the situation to his Australian Open saga, which saw him deported from the country on the eve of the Grand Slam.

The world number one said: "It's not the same thing, but going through something similar earlier this year for myself, it's frustrating knowing that you're not able to play.

Novak Djokovic

"I still stand by my position that I don't support the (Wimbledon) decision. I think it's just not fair, it's not right, but it is what it is."

Tournaments around Wimbledon - such as Queens and Eastbourne - won't be affected by the ATP's ranking points decision.

Meanwhile, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) is yet to announce whether it will follow the decision taken by the men's governing body.

Wimbledon gets underway on June 27.

READ MORE: Roland Garros WTA preview: Expect the unexpected despite supreme Iga Swiatek form

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