Male and female players will not be awarded ranking points based on their performance at Wimbledon this year due to its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, with Novak Djokovic in support of the decision
Both the ATP and WTA recently confirmed players competing at Wimbledon will not accrue ranking points for their respective Tours. That joint decision was made in response to the All England Club ‘s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes as a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Djokovic, 35, is the reigning champion at SW19 and will be desperate to defend his title after being prevented from doing so in Australia earlier this year. The top-ranked men’s player doesn’t agree with Wimbledon’s temporary ban on certain nationalities, though he does think the ATP’s response is just.
After hammering Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 in the first round of the French Open on Monday, Djokovic said: “I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the grand slam that, you know, when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences.
“So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He also called Wimbledon’s ban the “wrong decision” and sided with those up in arms to be missing the competition.
World No.2 Daniil Medvedev and Russian countryman Andrey Rublev are among the most high-profile cases set to miss out on the men’s tournament in London. Meanwhile, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka will be sidelined for the women’s competition.
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Djokovic has won three of the last four titles on offer and has added motivation as he seeks to draw level with record-holder Rafael Nadal on 21 Grand Slams. Both legends are through to the second round at Roland Garros, where they’ll contest an essential major crown in the context of their legacies.
It’s not only those who have been banned that won’t be in attendance at Wimbledon, which gets underway on June 27. Frenchman Lucas Pouille was among the first to confirm his decision to boycott the tournament as a result of ranking points being stripped, predicting prize money will also be reduced.
“Of course, that will always be something fantastic. But it is not just about who wins,” replied Pouille when told there will still be a Grand Slam title to play for. “Anyone who comes out of qualifying and wins three rounds, they could have got into the top 100 with that result. Yes, you will find yourself with a nice cheque but with nothing to validate their sporting performance.”
World No.162 Pouille would’ve had to come through qualifying to reach the main draw having seen his ranking plummet in recent years from a career-high of 10 in 2018.