Following the invasion of Ukraine, Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament was incorrect and disrespectful, according to world number one Novak Djokovic.
Following Russia’s invasion in February, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation,” the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) made the decision. Belarus has served as an important staging ground for the invasion.
As a result of its decision to prohibit players from the two countries, Wimbledon was deprived of ranking points by the ATP and WTA Tours.
The ability to attend tennis events and obtain seedings is determined by a player’s ranking.
“Obviously, without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points from Australia and Wimbledon this year, I will drop them,” Djokovic stated.
“On a personal, individual level, that has a detrimental impact on me,” the Serb stated after winning the opening round of the French Open.
Djokovic, who was deported after missing the Australian Open due to a lack of a COVID-19 vaccination, said the ATP and WTA’s reactions to the Wimbledon decision were a reaction to a mistake.
“I am delighted that players came together and demonstrated to the Grand Slam that when mistakes are made, we must show that there will be consequences,” he said.
“I believe the ban at Wimbledon was a mistake. That is something I strongly oppose. However, it is a sensitive matter at this time, and whatever you decide will cause a lot of conflict.”
“Unfortunately, there was never a firm communication from Wimbledon. That is why I believe it is incorrect.”
Russia and Belarus have been banned from international team tournaments by tennis governing bodies, although players from the two countries are allowed to compete as neutrals.
Tennis governing groups have slammed Wimbledon’s decision as discriminatory.
“It’s a really unique and strange situation, but a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” Djokovic said, adding that he intends to compete.
“Wimbledon has always been a childhood fantasy of mine. I don’t think about it in terms of points or prize money, but there must be some guidelines and mutual respect “he remarked.
“This is one of those decisions where someone will always suffer more as a result of it. It’s a no-win situation.”