This year, the men’s and women’s professional tours, along with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), have opted to drop the rankings for the grand slam event.
The announcements to remove the ranking points, made separately on Friday by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the ITF, come after the tournament organizers’ decision to exclude Russians and Belarusians. forbid to be in this year’s event.
“The stance we take is about protecting the equal opportunity WTA players should have to compete as individuals,” said a statement from WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon. “If we do not take this position, we will abandon our founding principle and let the WTA become an example in support of discrimination based on nationality at other events and in other regions around the world. The WTA will continue to apply its rules to refuse such discrimination.”
“Discrimination through individual tournaments is simply not feasible on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries,” an ATP statement said.
“We value our long-standing relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions that have to be made in responding to recent UK government guidance. We note, however, that this was informal guidance, not a mandate, that a offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed statement Our internal discussions with concerned players have in fact led us to the conclusion that this is a more pleasant option for the Tour would have been. “
The ITF, announcing that it is withdrawing ranking points from Wimbledon juniors and wheelchair events, said: “This difficult decision has been taken as a protective measure that upholds the principle of open access to international competition on merit and protects the integrity of ITF internationally. tennis competitions. The ITF’s stance remains that Russian and Belarusian athletes remain eligible to compete as neutral athletes.”
The AELTC, a subsidiary of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, said in a statement Friday that it stands by its decision. Wimbledon organizers said in April that Russians and Belarusians would not be allowed to participate in this year’s tournament.
“As we have stated before, after careful consideration of several factors and being obliged to act in accordance with UK Government guidance, we arrived at two firm conclusions that formed the basis for this decision,” the AELTC statement said. †
It continued: “We were unwilling to take any action that could jeopardize the personal safety of players or their families. We believe that requiring written statements from individual players — and that would apply to all relevant players — as a condition of entry into the high profile Wimbledon conditions would involve significant scrutiny and risk.
In addition, we remain unwilling to accept that success or participation in Wimbledon is being used to benefit the Russian regime’s propaganda machine, which, through its tightly controlled state media, has a recognized history of using sporting success to promote a triumphal story to support the Russian people.
“We would therefore like to express our deep disappointment at the decisions made by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for The Championships. We believe that these decisions are disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and harmful to all players participating in the Tour.
“We are considering our options and reserve our position at this stage. We are also in talks with our Grand Slam colleagues.”