By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
As a result of the ban on Russian and Belarussian tennis players participating at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, all other players that participate will lose their ranking points as decreed by the tennis authorities.
The ATP, which governs the men’s game, stated that:
“it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option.”
And added that:
“unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the tour.”
And the WTA, which governs the women’s game, stated that:
“it was a difficult decision …[and]… is about protecting equal opportunities.”
And added that:
“if we do not take this stance, then we abandon our fundamental principle and allow the WTA to become an example to support discrimination based on nationality at other events and in other regions around the world.”
The ITF also will not grant any ranking points in the junior and wheelchair events at Wimbledon, which begin on 27 June.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organises and runs Wimbledon, stated that it was deeply disappointed and added that:
“we believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in.”
The UK Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, stated that these decisions send “a completely wrong message to Putin and the people of Ukraine.”
These decisions mean that Novak Djokovic will not be able to retain the 2,000 ranking points, that he earned as last year’s winner of Wimbledon, and will probably, therefore, lose his world number one status.