The governing body for men’s tennis, ATP, was unhappy with Wimbledon’s ‘unilateral’ decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus at this year’s Championships.
The Wimbledon organisers stated on Wednesday that players from these countries will be barred from the grass-court Grand Slam this year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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The ATP believes this decision would lead to a dangerous precedent for players, who work more as individual contractors.
“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 stated.
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“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,” they added.
“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.
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“Discrimination based on nationality also constitutes a violation of our agreement with Wimbledon that states that player entry is based solely on ATP Rankings.
“Any course of action in response to this decision will now be assessed in consultation with our Board and Member councils.
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“It is important to stress that players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete at ATP events under a neutral flag, a position that has until now been shared across professional tennis.”
World No 2 in men’s tennis Daniil Medvedev and women’s World No 4 Aryna Sabalenka will not be able to compete at Wimbledon due to the ban.
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Players from Russia and Belarus are currently competing under a neutral flag on the tour.