Russian tennis players were officially suspended from the tournament
Back in early March by a joint decision of the seven major tennis organizations – ATP, WTA, ITF and four Grand Slam tournaments – it was decided to cancel all tournaments in Russia and Belarus, not allow teams of all ages to participate in team competitions and allow our athletes to compete in individual events in neutral status without indicating the country membership – without the flag, anthem and the letters of the state name. It seemed that this compromise suited everyone, but it was a long shot. The main trouble was ahead for our tennis players; now they are deprived of the most prestigious “Slam” of the season.
The United Kingdom Lounge Tennis Association (LTA) issued an official statement together with the All England Lounge Tennis Club (AELTC) according to which Russian and Belarusian tennis players will not be able to take part in tournaments under their aegis in 2022, including the Grand Slam tennis tournament on grass – Wimbledon. The decision applies to both adult and junior competitions. “If circumstances change significantly between now and June, we will consider the applications of Russian and Belarusian tennis players and respond accordingly,” the press release notes. Note that in Great Britain, in addition to Wimbledon, several major tournaments will be held in June: ATP-500 in London, WTA250 in Birmingham and WTA-500 in Eastbourne. Russian and Belarusian tennis players won’t be able to take part in them too.
It is clear to the naked eye that there are an impressive number of Belarusian and Russian tennis players in the top 100 of the two world rankings, both for men and women. All of them have directly entered the grid of any Slam thanks to the points gained over the last year. And now they were deprived of the opportunity to play at Wimbledon. Because of this decision, two tennis players of the top 10 – Medvedev and Rublev – will not play at the main grass tournament of the season. Moreover, it is not excluded that Daniil will be the first racket of the world by the start of the tournament on June 27. Apart from that the players from the women’s group will not see 5 representatives of the TOP-30 and 12 tennis players from the Top-100. All in all, at least 17 tennis stars were banned, not counting those who could break through the qualification.
- Daniil Medvedev (Russia, No. 2 in ATP rankings)
- Andrey Rublev (Russia, 8)
- Karen Khachanov (Russia, 26)
- Aslan Karatsev (Russia, 30)
- Ilya Ivashko (Belarus, 44)
- Arina Sobolenko (Belarus, No. 4 in WTA rankings)
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia, 15)
- Victoria Azarenka (Belarus, 18)
- Daria Kasatkina (Russia, 26)
- Veronika Kudermetova (Russia, 29)
- Ludmila Samsonova (Russia, 31)
- Ekaterina Alexandrova (Russia, 39)
- Alexandra Sosnovich (Belarus, 50)
- Varvara Gracheva (Russia, 73)
- Anna Kalinskaya (Russia, 75)
- Camilla Rakhimova (Russia, 95)
- Vera Zvonaryova (Russia, 100)
It is absolutely unclear how the players’ rights will be taken into account in this situation. Let’s assume that Wimbledon belongs to a private club and they have the right to make such decisions without taking into account the opinion of tennis organizations – ITF, WTA and ATP. But who will return to the players the ranking points taken away from them in advance and uncollected prize money for participation and potential victories? Andrey Olkhovsky, a two-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments in mixtape, also speaks about this: “In my opinion, it is necessary to file a class action about the fact that athletes are not allowed to compete and are not allowed to take part in tournaments. Tennis players are not allowed to compete, to earn money for reasons beyond their control. It definitely has a huge impact in terms of tournament standing. The Grand Slam tournament is the biggest tournament. If Medvedev or anyone else claims first place, and they don’t let him play, the person is incapable of eliminating that reason. It’s not the same situation as when Djokovic wasn’t allowed to play in Australia. Had Novak been inoculated, he would have played quietly. If he were to be excluded from Wimbledon, he would have no chance of participating.