ATP keeps points for British tournaments on grass

ATP keeps points for British tournaments on grass

The Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments, both on the grass tour, were saved from an ATP sanction on Monday for having banned the participation of Russian and Belarusian players.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the British Tennis Association and the All England Club — host of the Wimbledon tournament — to bar players from Russia and its wartime ally Belarus from competing in the grass-court season in Britain.

The ATP and WTA criticized the decision.

On Monday, the ATP announced that “Queen’s and Eastbourne will be contested as normal, splitting all ATP points.”

The men’s tour added that it consulted its player and tournament councils.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray opposed the punishments. Sergiy Stakhovsky, the retired captain of Ukraine’s Davis Cup team who joined the army at the start of the war, expressed his support.

“The decision of the LTA (initials of the British federation) to ban Russian and Belarusian players, however, is contrary to the ATP regulations and undermines the ability of players of any nationality to sign up for a tournament based on the merit, and without discrimination of any kind — a fundamental principle of the ATP Tour,” he said in a statement.

“The sanctions related to the violation of the LTA to the rules of the ATP will be analyzed separately according to the administration of the ATP. The ATP’s response to the Wimbledon decision remains under review, and will be communicated in due course,” he added.

The LTA accepted the decision of the ATP.

“Based on the international condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the parameters of the British government, we believe we have made the right decision in these difficult circumstances,” the LTA said in a statement.

“We are aware of the impact on Russian and Belarusian players, however, the need for me to sign a statement (condemning the invasion) means that participation in tournaments would never have depended solely on merit. We remain in contact with the ATP and its efforts in the coming weeks, ”he added.

The WTA has not yet responded to the bans.


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