After allowing its UK tour events to retain their ranking points, the ATP today have stripped Wimbledon of the points it will offer to players.
“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour,” the ATP said in a statement.
“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.
“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.”
The WTA did the same.
“As a result of the AELTC’s position that it will not honor its obligation to use the WTA Rankings for entry into Wimbledon and proceed with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to not award WTA ranking points for this year’s Wimbledon Championships,” the women’s tour said.
With the points gone (for now), the tournament becomes a de facto exhibition event, with just prize money and no chance to any upward movement in the rankings. In fact, players will drop their points and lose spots.
Wimbledon hopes this won’t happen.
“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.
“As we have previously stated, after careful consideration against a variety of factors, and bound to act in accordance with the directive guidance from the UK Government, we came to two firm conclusions that formed the basis for this decision.
“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. 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.
“We are considering our options, and we are reserving our position at this stage. We are also in discussion with our Grand Slam colleagues.”
Now it’s a wait-and-see as to who will show up for the Championships. While players are upset, will there be any real backlash?
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ATP, WTA and ITF did the right thing. What Wimbledon did is pure racism, and a dreadful example to children who go there. It’s utterly unsportsmanlike, and Kipling, whose immortal words are emblazoned on Wimbledon walls (from the poem “If”), would be turning in his grave.
I think that ATP, WTA and ITF haven’t gone far enough – they should have protected the sport, and done the same at Australian Open, where they used politics to deport certain players – Novak Djokovic and Renata Voracova, and some coaching staff.
By removing the allocation of ranking points, Wimbledon becomes an exhibition event – it is no longer one of the 4 majors, it no longer has the status of the Grand Slam event. ATP, WTA and ITF should grant that status to another tournament which is going on at the same time, to underline the point, and to allow players to earn the points elsewhere. Otherwise they render the world rankings meaningless too.
Wake up world, tennis and sportsmanship are being destroyed.
May 21st, 2022 at 7:04 am