Kevin Anderson retires from ATP

Kevin Anderson warns of ‘disconnect’ between players and Grand Slams

Kevin Anderson, the head of the ATP player council, has called for a players and Grand Slams to have a “better relationship” and to resolve the disconnect between them which has been highlighted by the sport’s reaction to the war in Ukraine.  

In March, Wimbledon chose to ban Russian and Belarusian players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to the ATP and WTA stripping the event of ranking points.

With regards to the news of the ban and that there will be no ranking points available at this years Summer Slam – it has led to several different responses.

Some high-profile players, including Naomi Osaka, have subsequently questioned whether it is worth them competing at the tournament in London, which begins on 27 June.

However, this week it was announced that seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams is to play the event in search of her 24th Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, the US Open decided against banning Russian and Belarusian players and has followed the French Open in allowing players from the two countries to participate in the tournament in New York, but under a neutral banner.

Former world number five Anderson, who retired from playing last month, has been involved in discussions to resolve the differences of opinion between players and Wimbledon.

Speaking in a recent interview the South African told reporters, “I think it’s important to have a better relationship between Grand Slams and players.

“As players sometimes you feel like Grand Slams act a little bit independently. As much as I can understand Wimbledon’s decision and some of the reasons, moving forward there needs to be better communication between these entities and the players.

“Taking (ranking) points away is unprecedented.”

The South African, however, admits the sport is dealing with an “incredibly difficult” and “unfortunate” situation after Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February.

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