The possibility for players of any nationality to participate in tournaments based on merit and without discrimination is fundamental to our Tour. Wimbledon’s decision to bar 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 classification agreement. Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no other option but to remove the points from the Wimbledon ATP Rankings for 2022.
We highly value our longstanding relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult choices we face in responding to recent guidance from the UK government. However, we note that this was informal guidance, not mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision up to individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed statement.
Our internal discussions with the affected players, in fact, led us to conclude that this would have been a more enjoyable option for the Tour. We remain hopeful that further discussions with Wimbledon will lead to a result acceptable to all concerned. More generally, we believe this matter again highlights the need for a united governance structure across professional tennis so that decisions of this nature can be made jointly.
Separately, as previously announced, we confirm that points will remain at ATP Tour events at Queen’s (ATP 500), Eastbourne (ATP 250) and ATP Challenger events in the UK. We have made this decision on the basis that alternative play opportunities are open to Russian and Belarusian players in those weeks, unlike Wimbledon, which minimizes any impact on the integrity of the rankings. Sanctions related to the violation of the ATP rules by the LTA will be assessed separately.
Our condemnation of the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine remains unequivocal. Immediate steps were taken to suspend the ATP Tour event in Moscow and have Russian and Belarusian athletes play under neutral flags on the Tour. In parallel, we have continued our humanitarian support to Ukraine, together with the other governing bodies of tennis, as well as providing direct financial assistance to many affected players.