Wimbledon has had its ATP ranking points removed due to the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 championships.
The ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] said the move came with ‘great regret and reluctance’ but their principles had been undermined by the UK’s Grand Slam.
Wimbledon made the decision following Russia’s Belarus-backed invasion of Ukraine, as sports and governments imposed sanctions on the country.
Ramifications have been felt all across the world of sport, with Roman Abramovich forced to sell Chelsea due to his relationship with Vladimir Putin, while Russian teams have been banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions.
Most bans have impacted teams rather than individuals, except for Wimbledon’s call, which sees a number of stars such as men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev out of the prestigious tournament.
But the ATP have disagreed with the move, explaining why in a statement.
“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our tour,” the statement read.
“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.
The statement continued: “Our condemnation of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine remains unequivocal.
“Immediate action was taken to suspend the ATP Tour event in Moscow and have Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under neutral flags on Tour.
“In parallel, we have continued our humanitarian support for Ukraine, together with the other governing bodies of tennis, as well as providing direct financial assistance to many affected players.”