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ATP Strips Ranking Points for 2022 Wimbledon After Russian Ban

A month after Wimbledon decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Grand Slam tournament, the ATP has announced that there will be no ranking points involved in the tournament.

“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour,” ATP’s press release said. “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.”

Wimbledon responded to the ATP’s decision on Friday, and it continues to stand by the ban.

“We appreciate that opinions differ in relation to our decision to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships this year, and we deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected,” Wimbledon’s press release said. “However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia’s global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made.”

Wimbledon explained that the two reasons why the tournament implemented the ban are due to player safety and due to the idea of not wanting to promote Russian propaganda by having players from that country succeed in the tournament. Players would’ve had to pen individual letters denouncing the Russian government to participate by UK law, and the tournament was worried about their safety.

“We therefore wish to state our deep disappointment at the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for The Championships,” the press release continued. “We believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and damaging to all players who compete on Tour.”

The ATP and WTA have been outspoken against Wimbledon’s ban since it was announced, saying that it doesn’t follow professional tennis’ ethical rules to allow a player to participate despite what country they are from.

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Players from Russia and Belarus must play under a neutral flag per ATP and WTA rules for as long as the Ukraine invasion continues.

Now, No. 2 Russian Daniil Medvedev will not be impacted by missing Wimbledon. It was possible that he could’ve dropped in rankings even though it was not his choice not to compete. The ATP mentioned in their release that they spoke with various affected players to reach this conclusion. 

The ATP said the tournament should have considered alternative options, such as keeping the Russian and Belarusian players as neutral participants like every other tournament has done.

“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,” the ATP said. “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.”

Russian and Belarusian players are still able to compete in other UK hosted events this year, so those tournaments will not have ranking points stripped away. That includes the Queen’s Club Championships, which takes place two weeks before Wimbledon in London. Other Grand Slam tournaments, such as next week’s French Open, are not affected.

The WTA has not announced whether they will follow suit with ATP’s decision.

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