Tennis news | Wimbledon | Russian ban | Daniel Medvedev
Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge has said there are no winners from a potential ATP Tour decision to take away ranking points from this year’s Wimbledon tournament.
The All England Club appear to be heading for a major showdown with the world’s best male tennis players, over the club’s stance to ban players from Russia and Belarus, following the invasion of Ukraine .
The UK Telegraph reports that the ATP board is set to meet on Thursday or Friday to consider the matter, which would leave the tour at odds with the biggest tournament in the world.
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The ban means that two of the seven best men in the world, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, will not be able to participate in the third Grand Slam tournament of the year.
The WTA Tour would also consider its position and should follow the ATP’s lead and deprive Wimbledon of ranking points.
Neither the ATP nor the WTA have any direct involvement in the running of Wimbledon, which is hosted by the All England Club, leaving the matter of ranking points the only real action the two circuits can take on. club ban.
Wimbledon bans Russian and Belarusian players
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have recently argued against Wimbledon’s stance, reflecting the player group’s dissatisfaction with the decision to ban players from the tournament.
“I’m surprised the tour is looking to take points, because as a player the tournaments you aspire to play well in and win are the Grand Slams,” Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports.
“Removing points won’t make any difference to players who want to play there, due to the prestige and history of these events.”
Announcing the decision last month, Wimbledon boss Sally Bolton said a ban was the “only viable option”.
As the tennis world returns to normal following the disruption caused by COVID-19, Woodbridge urged everyone involved to keep the situation in perspective.
“Players need to look back over the past two years and recognize that it was Wimbledon and the other Grand Slam events that were able to sustain the sport,” he said.
“No one can win having to make such a difficult decision, but at the end of the day depriving Wimbledon of points doesn’t help the sport at all.”
The current crisis has been compared to 1973, when 81 top players boycotted Wimbledon over a dispute between Yugoslavia’s top player, Nikola Pilic, and his country’s governing body.
Woodbridge stressed that the current dispute between the ATP Tour and the All England Club will in no way diminish this year’s tournament.
“It would surprise me, given the amount of prize money on offer, if many players chose not to play at Wimbledon,” he explained.
“Taking points is not boycotting the tournament, any player who grew up wanting to be a champion in our sport would find it hard to pass up the opportunity to play at Wimbledon or any other Grand Slam tournament.
“I saw a piece that said Wimbledon would be little more than an exhibition. Any player would much rather win Wimbledon than any of the Masters Series events.
“He has more value, more prestige and more money. No one will ever take victory away from those who choose to play the tournament.”
Wimbledon starts on June 27.
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