Wimbledon chiefs slam 'disproportionate' removal of ranking points

Novak Djokovic. (AELTC/Simon Bruty - Pool/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic. (AELTC/Simon Bruty - Pool/Getty Images)

Wimbledon chiefs hit back on Friday at the "disproportionate" decisions taken by tennis' main tours to strip the Grand Slam of its ranking points following the ban on players from Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The tours said they had to act in order to stop players from Russia and Belarus being discriminated against on political grounds.

But the All England Club, which runs Wimbledon, expressed their "deep disappointment" at the moves made by the ATP (men's), WTA (women's) and ITF (junior and wheelchair events).

They said they had taken the "only viable decision" given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia's global influence following the invasion and stood by the ban.

"We deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected," said a statement from the Wimbledon organisers.

"However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia's global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon and we stand by the decision we have made.

Turning to the removal of ranking points, the statement added: "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, and damaging to all players who compete on tour."

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