“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour. 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.” starts the statement released on Friday evening by the ATP. The organization also released an FAQ, giving more explanation about the decision and how it will work technically. The sanctions on Russian and Belarusian tennis players by the LTA and Wimbledon are a reaction to the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
Ranking points from the 2021 edition of Wimbledon will not be carried over. They will follow the usual formula of dropping after 52 weeks since the event. Therefore, after the 2022 edition is held, no player will have Wimbledon points in their ranking.
ATP and ITF Strip Wimbledon of Ranking Points
The Queen’s Club Championships (ATP 500) and Eastbourne International (ATP 250) will not receive the same treatment, because during those weeks there are other alternatives for the banned Russian and Belarusian athletes. The same applies to ATP Challenger Tour events in Surbiton, Nottingham, and Ilkley.
The ITF also released a statement, withdrawing points from the junior and wheelchair events held during Wimbledon. In their view, “Tournament organizers are not permitted to unilaterally impose entry criteria inconsistent with the ITF’s published open entry criteria. Therefore, in accordance with its protocols, the ITF has the right to withdraw ranking points.” The organization also notes that “ITF ranking points will only be retained in UK-based LTA tournaments in ITF World Tennis Tour, Juniors, Wheelchair and Seniors international tours if satisfactory alternative equivalent opportunities exist in other countries.” Similar to the ATP not choosing to strip other events of ranking points, because the Russian and Belarusian players have a chance to play elsewhere in these weeks.
It remains to be seen how the decisions affect entry lists and the motivation of players coming to London. The athletes will compete for the prize money and unless there’s a massive amount of withdrawals, putting down one’s name in the history books will still be at stake.
Shortly after the ATP and ITF made their announcements, the WTA similarly announced that Wimbledon will not give ranking points this year. Like in the other tours, other grass-court tournaments in the U.K. will receive ranking points because there are other alternatives for players those weeks.
Main Photo from Getty.