- ATP said it was unfair for Russian and Belarusian players
- The men’s tennis regulator asserted that All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is setting a dangerous precedent.
- The ATP is expected to take some form of action in the coming days, as the organisation assesses the restriction
As soon as Russian and Belarusian tennis players were handed a ban at Wimbledon 2022, all eyes turned to ATP.
On Wednesday, The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which hosts the Wimbledon Championships said this is one of the measures of countering Russia.
The Club according to Tennis365 is working to “restrict Russia’s worldwide influence by the strongest measures available.”
It maintained that in the context of such unjustified and unprecedented military assault, it would be inappropriate for the Russian regime to draw any benefits from the engagement of Russian and Belarusian players.
The club added that it is a sound decision to deny entries from Russian and Belarusian players to Wimbledon.
Reacting to the ban, ATP said it was unfair for Russian and Belarusian players. The men’s tennis body said that while Russia was wrong to invade Ukraine; her players are not part of it.
ATP asserted that AELTC is setting a dangerous precedent.
“We strongly condemn Russia’s reprehensible invasion of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with the millions of innocent people affected by the ongoing war,” ATP’s statement reads.
It adds: “Our sport is proud to operate on the fundamental principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to earn their place in tournaments based on the ATP Rankings.
“We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.”
According to the ATP, the LTA and Wimbledon are in violation of Tour rules.
The ATP is expected to take some form of action in the coming days, as the organization assesses the restriction.
In their view, the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian players from the competition is counter to the essence of the sport.
Wimbledon’s agreement with the ATP says that player admittance is entirely based on ATP Rankings, which is explicitly violated by discrimination based on nationality.
In the wake of this decision, ATP will consult relevant stakeholders before any action is taken.
ATP reiterated that players from Russia and Belarus are still permitted by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to compete at competitions under a neutral flag, as they have until now.
Leading players affected by the ban are world No.2 Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka – Belarusian WTA World No 4.
Other affected players include world No.26 Karen Khachanov and world No.8 Andry Rublev.
World No.15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will also miss Wimbledon.
In March, Medvedev and Olympic silver medalist Karen Khachanov deleted the Russian flag from their Instagram accounts.
However, this wasn’t a guarantee that Russian players would travel to any of the countries that the ATP Tour stops in.
Meanwhile, as part of Tennis Plays for Peace, continue our collaborative humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
First of the men’s UK grass-court events, the Cinch Championships at the Queen’s Club will begin on June 13th.