In a swift and firm response to Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from this year’s competition, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which acts as the governing body for women’s tennis, has announced that they are stripping Wimbledon of ranking points.
The act of stripping the tournament of its ranking points essentially makes this year’s Wimbledon an exhibition event for women’s players.
Though technically not yet official, Steve Simon, the WTA’s Chief Executive, formally recommended the idea earlier this week. It’s widely expected that his suggestion will be ratified prior to week’s end by the WTA’s main board and its player’s council.
The move was considered a must after Wimbledon refused to change their stance on Russian and Belarusian participants, prompting near universal complaints. Amongst those voicing their displeasure were Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, arguably the two biggest names on the men’s circuit.
Wimbledon is expected to have all ranking points removed by the ATP in the next 48 hours if it does not reverse its ban on Russian players.
— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) May 11, 2022
After the WTA made their decision, speculation surrounding the men’s tour — the ATP — has begun to surface. The thought of the ATP siding with the WTA and opting to strip ranking points for Wimbledon now becomes a very real likelihood.
When asked about that possibility, Djokovic responded: “Now I guess it’s on player council, the tour management, to really decide along with the players what is the best solution in this situation, whether they keep the points, protect the points, take away 50% of the points or whatever,” Djokovic said, via Sportskeeda.
Nadal also suggested that he’s not opposed to stripping points “Only thing we can do is be in touch with Wimbledon and the rest of the ATP management to do the things that works better to protect every single player in the ATP,” Nadal said, via Tennis World USA.
“At the end, that’s our job: to protect the players and to work in the benefit of every single player that we are representing. That’s all.”
Wimbledon is slated to begin Monday June 27th with players competing through Sunday, July 10th.
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