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Wimbledon stripped of ranking points over decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players


Russia's Daniil Medvedev

Russia's Daniil Medvedev

Russia's Daniil Medvedev

Wimbledon will be stripped of ranking points over its decision to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from competing at the 2022 Championships due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the men's ATP Tour said on Friday.

Tennis governing bodies have banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion, but allowed players from the two countries to continue competing as neutrals.

"The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour," the ATP said in a statement.

"The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement.

"Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022."

The move by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is the first time players have been banned on grounds of nationality since the immediate post-World War Two era when German and Japanese players were excluded.

Earlier, world number two Daniil Medvedev said he will not take Wimbledon's organisers to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over their ban on Russian and Belarusian players at this year's Championships.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) banned players from both countries following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special military operation". Belarus has been a key staging area for the invasion.

The men's (ATP) and women's tours (WTA) have yet to decide on whether Wimbledon will be stripped of rankings points over its decision to ban the players.

Medvedev said there were a "lot of mistakes" behind the decision and that he was waiting for the ATP to make a statement.

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"I'm not a lawyer... if I can't play I'm not going to go to court for this one," Medvedev told reporters ahead of the French Open, where he is the second seed.

Medvedev is playing only his second tournament after a hernia surgery that sidelined him for six weeks.

He was knocked out in straight sets in Geneva in his first match back earlier this week but said he was glad he was off the courts for a few weeks to recover both physically and mentally after a gruelling schedule in the previous months.

"Geneva actually was the six weeks (from the surgery) where I should have just taken the racquet but I was already playing a match. Physically, I'm feeling good, ready to play five sets," he said.

"I took this time to really refresh the batteries, because I needed this.

"Last year, including Davis Cup and straightaway going to Australia, which is always a tough travel and tough tournament in terms of clock difference, being away from home... I felt that I needed this break maybe, for my body and for my head."

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