ATP spares 2 UK tournaments for banning Russian players

The Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments were spared Monday by the ATP for banning Russian and Belarusian players.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the British Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club – the host of Wimbledon – in April to exclude players from Russia and its wartime ally Belarus from the next British season on grass.

The ATP and WTA opposed it at the time.

On Monday, the ATP said “Queen’s and Eastbourne will proceed as normal, offering full ATP ranking points.”

The men’s tour governing body added that it had consulted its player and tournament councils. Players like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were against the ban, while Sergiy Stakhovsky, the former Ukrainian Davis Cup player who joined the army at the start of the war, supported it.

“LTA’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes, however, is against ATP rules and undermines the ability of players of any nationality to participate in tournaments based on merit and without discrimination – a fundamental tenet of the LTA. ‘ATP Tour,” he said in a statement. statement.

“Sanctions related to LTA’s breach of ATP rules will now be assessed separately under ATP governance. The ATP’s response to the Wimbledon decision remains under review, and further to be communicated. on time.”

The LTA said it welcomes the ATP’s decision.

“Based on international condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the advice of the UK 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 individual Russian and Belarusian players, but the need for them to sign a statement (condemning the invasion) meant that entry to events would never have been based solely on merit. We will continue to engage with the ATP and their processes over the next few weeks.

The WTA has yet to respond to the bans.

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