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WTA strips Wimbledon of ranking points after Russia ban

(John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

The WTA and ATP will not award ranking points for the 2022 Wimbledon Championships due to the Grand Slam’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine.

The governing bodies announced the move Friday, emphasizing the importance of players being able to compete based on merit and skill.

“Individual athletes participating in an individual sport should not be penalized or prevented from competing solely because of their nationalities or the decisions made by the governments of their countries,” WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.

No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka, a reigning Wimbledon semifinalist, and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka are among the athletes impacted by the ban. Both hail from Belarus.

Wimbledon released a response of its own Friday, standing by its decision to bar players from Russia and Belarus from competition.

“Given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia’s global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made,” the statement read.

The All England Club went on to call the WTA and ATP’s decision “disproportionate” and “damaging.”

Wimbledon is set to kick off on June 27, while the French Open begins Sunday.