Novak Djokovic brands Wimbledon ban as the “wrong decision”
World number one Novak Djokovic has criticized the actions of Wimbledon arguing that the All England Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players is the “wrong decision.”
Last month Wimbledon announced that Russian and Belarusian players were to be banned from this year’s tournament due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ban means that the four Russian men in the top 30 in the ATP rankings and six Russian and Belarusian players in the top 32 of the WTA rankings, who would have been seeds at Wimbledon, are unable to compete.
The ban has been widely condemned by many key stakeholders in tennis including current players, coaches and even tennis’ governing bodies, with many calling for a strong response from the WTA and ATP to Wimbledon’s actions.
On Saturday, both the ATP and the WTA officially responded, stating that there will be no ranking points available at this year’s Summer Slam.
This decision means that world number one Novak Djokovic, who will be defending his title this summer, will not have the chance of retaining his 2,000 ranking points from his 2021 title win.
Speaking following his opening round win, the Serbian told reporters that the Wimbledon ban was the “wrong decision” and that despite the ATP decision impacting him on a “personal level” he believes it is the right decision.
“On a personal level without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points I’m going to drop this year [from] Australia and Wimbledon… I have been very negatively affected by that.
“But I have been speaking with management and the president of ATP and some of the council members actually in the last few days. I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences.
“So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that. Of course it’s up to Wimbledon or LTA [Lawn Tennis Association], whoever was making that decision to make that decision.
“But I didn’t know, for example, a few days ago I found out that there was a document of recommendation from the English government towards the All England Club and where they had several options. There was not only one on the table.
“They haven’t discussed it with anybody from ATP or any individual players or for that matter Russian or Belarusian players to just communicate and understand whether there is a common ground where both sides could be making a compromise and something could work out. So I think it was a wrong decision.”
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