Novak Djokovic criticized the Wimbledon ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in the loss

Wimbledon, the third of four Grand Slam tournaments on the tennis calendar, is arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world. But this year, the men’s and women’s professional tours, along with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), decided to strip the Grand Slam tournament of their ranking points after the decision of the tournament organizers to ban Russians and Belarusians from the game this year.

“In general, I’m happy that the players came together and showed at the Grand Slam that when a mistake occurs, we have to show that there will be some consequences,” Djokovic told reporters on Monday.

“I think it (the Wimbledon ban) was the wrong decision. I don’t support this at all. But this is currently a sensitive issue and any decision you make will cause a lot of conflict,” he added.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said Friday it stands by its decision. In April, Wimbledon organizers announced that Russians and Belarusians would not be allowed to participate in this year’s tournament.

The AELTC said in a statement that it remains “unwilling to tolerate success or participation in Wimbledon being used to the advantage of the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which, through its tightly controlled state media, has a widely acknowledged history of using sporting success to support a triumphant narrative for the Russian people.” .

“Therefore, we want to express our deep disappointment with the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF to remove ranking points from the Championship. We consider these decisions disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and situation. we have been in a situation and have caused damage to all the players who compete in the Tour,” the statement said.

Russian tennis stars Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic during the final of the Rolex Paris Masters 2021, November 7, 2021.

Tennis governing bodies banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion.

However, individual players from countries are allowed to compete in ATP and WTA tournaments, but not under their country’s name or flag.

Djokovic said he would still play at Wimbledon this year, but criticized the lack of “strong communication” from the organisers.

“Of course, on a personal level, not being able to play and defend my 4,000 points in Australia and Wimbledon, I will lose them this year,” he said.

“It’s a very unique and strange situation, but a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” he said, adding that Wimbledon “was always my dream since I was a kid.”

Daniil Medvedev still hopes to play at Wimbledon

“I don’t look at it in terms of points or prize money, but there should be some standards with some mutual respect,” he said.

“This is one of those decisions where there will always be someone who will suffer more. It’s a losing situation.”

Meanwhile, the four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka said she was unsure if she would play at Wimbledon this year, calling the no-point tournament an “exhibition”.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is lame,” she said on Monday.

“It seems to me that if I play Wimbledon without points, it will be more like an exhibition. I know it’s not true, right? But my brain thinks so. don’t go for it 100%.

“I haven’t even made a decision yet, but I’m more inclined to not play given the current circumstances,” she added.

Issy Ronald and Jill Martin provided reporting.