Wimbledon faces Russian ban to become ‘exhibition’ tournament

With Wimbledon facing the prospect of becoming tennis’s richest show tournament, the Grand Slam is under threat of losing its ranking points status.

Last month, Wimbledon became the first tennis event in the world to ban Russian and Belarusian players from invading Ukraine.

The ATP and WTA tours allow athletes to continue performing and will be able to play in the French Open Championship 11 days later.

However, the All England Club, which runs Wimbledon, has decided to make an independent decision outside the two main rides and ban athletes from the competition.

Current Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic was one of the players who got a shot at deciding the match. Image: PA Pictures
The LTA then did the same thing, banning them from every grass warming match in the UK, such as the Queen’s Club Cinch Championship and the Eastbourne Rothesay International.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were among those who spoke out against the decision, and now the Grand Slam and the rest of England could be punished.

According to the Daily Mail, there were behind-the-scenes meetings at last week’s Madrid Open Championship and this week’s Italian Open in Rome to discuss what to do.

The report said Wimbledon and other LTA events could be eliminated from official site points, making them all a show tournament.

That could mean that a large number of players leave smaller tournaments in favor of other grass tournaments in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

with top players like Matteo Berrettini, Casper Rudd and Carlos Alcaraz currently all registered for the Queen and they may withdraw.

Representatives of ATP players are particularly prone to take a tough stance on Wimbledon, which will not be affected by any withdrawals as bonuses and status are still being offered.

However, it is still a blow to the competition in SW19, which presents at least a very high profile exhibition this year.

The ATP has not made a decision yet, though the women’s WTA could do the same as soon as sometime this week.

Nadal called the decision to ban the player “unfair” but a former Ukrainian tennis player is now defending his country on the front line as he hits back to the Australian Open champion.

“Rafael Nadal, we played together. We played against each other on the tour. Tell me how fair it is for Ukrainian players not to go home,” Sergei Stakhovsky asked on social media.

“… if anyone can find a quote from a Russian or Belarusian player condemning the invasion of Ukraine?

“Don’t put the label ‘no war’ or ‘stop the war’ because this rhetoric sounds like the Ukrainians will stop fighting and the war will end.”

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