Wimbledon loses ranking points over Russia and Belarus ban


Wimbledon loses ranking points over Russia and Belarus ban

Wimbledon, widely regarded as the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, was stripped of ranking points by the sport’s main tours on Friday, threatening to reduce the Grand Slam to the status of a high-profile exhibition event. The ATP and WTA decision was in response to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players at Wimbledon following the invasion of Ukraine. “It is with great regret and reluctance that we see no alternative but to withdraw Wimbledon ATP ranking points for 2022,” the ATP said in a statement.

“Our rules and agreements are in place to protect players’ rights overall. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if left unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the tour.

“Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not feasible.”

When world number one Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2021, he collected 2,000 points.

Wimbledon bosses at the All England Club branded the ATP and WTA move as ‘disproportionate’

The WTA, which runs the women’s tour, joined their male counterparts in withholding points for the tournament beginning June 27.

The Wimbledon ban has ruled out a number of top players including men’s No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, last year’s women’s semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and two-time Major winner Victoria Azarenka.

Further talks?

However, the ATP hinted at a resolution of the impasse.

“We continue to hope for further discussions with Wimbledon, which will lead to an acceptable result for all parties involved.”

WTA chief Steve Simon said his organization believed “that individual athletes who compete in a single sport should not be penalized solely because of their nationality or the decisions of their countries’ governments”.

“Due to the position of the All England Tennis Club that it will default on its obligation to use the WTA Rankings to attend Wimbledon and proceed with a sub-field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to no ranking points for this year’s Wimbledon,” he added.

The Wimbledon ban has met with widespread condemnation, especially as Russian and Belarusian players are still allowed to play in other tournaments, including the second Grand Slam of the season at the French Open, which starts in Paris on Sunday.

“It’s unfair to my Russian colleagues,” said Spanish star Rafael Nadal, two-time Wimbledon winner and 21-time Grand Slam champion, when the sanction was announced.

“It’s not their fault what’s happening with the war.”

The All England Club expressed its “deep disappointment” with the ATP and WTA.

They said they took the “only viable decision” and stood by the ban given the UK government’s position on limiting Russia’s global influence after the invasion.

“We deeply regret the impact this decision has had on the individuals affected,” the Wimbledon organizers said in a statement.

Medvedev, speaking ahead of the announcement of the ATP decision in Paris, said he would not take any legal action against Wimbledon but acknowledged that “there are many flaws behind the controversial decision”.

“If I can’t play, I won’t go to court for it,” said 26-year-old Medvedev.

“Invaders, Murderers”

The ATP’s decision was criticized by former Ukraine player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who defeated Roger Federer on Center Court at Wimbledon in 2013.

“To say I’m disappointed with @atptour would be an understatement. I never expected anyone to side with invaders and assassins… but it seems to me that even my fellow players feel sorry for the rus/blr invaders,” tweeted Stakhovsky, who has joined the Ukrainian military to defend the to fight the Russian invasion.

“Players who failed to deliver a clear message condemning the invasion of Ukraine in 85 days. A shameful day in tennis.”

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) also confirmed that it is refusing to award Wimbledon ranking points for junior and wheelchair events.


The UK Government’s Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Nadine Dorries, said: “We fully support the decision that Wimbledon has made to stand up for what is right.

“We deeply regret today’s decision and urge the ATP to reconsider their stance on ranking points at the Championships. It is not sending the right message to (Vladimir) Putin or to the people of Ukraine.”

Topics mentioned in this article

You May Also Like