May 16, 2022, 14:07

    ATP’s Wimbledon threat could see top players snub traditional Queen’s warm-up tournament

    ATP’s Wimbledon threat could see top players snub traditional Queen’s warm-up tournament

    Tennis players may be forced to skip Queen’s if the ATP opts to reduce or remove ranking points from UK tournaments.

    The board of the ATP convened on Wednesday to discuss the next steps in the wake of Russian and Belarusian players being banned from competing in the sport’s most prestigious tournament. That meeting came after the player council, which includes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, voted in favour of stripping Wimbledon of ranking points, which needs to be approved by a seven-man ATP Board.

    The idea of halving the number of points on offer is also on the table, another reason which may deter some players from competing in the UK this summer, including the Cinch Championships at Queen's Club in West Kensington, the most famous pre-Wimbledon event. Nadal claimed it is “his job” to defend those who have been barred from the All England Club.

    Italy's Matteo Berrettini is the reigning champion at Queen's


    He was questioned about Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players ahead of the summer’s Championships. "I don't have a clear opinion on the matter and I don't want to declare anything,” the 21-time grand slam champion said.

    “[The] only thing we can do is be in touch with Wimbledon and the rest of the ATP management to do the things that work better to protect every single player in the ATP. At the end, that’s our job: to protect the players and to work [to] the benefit of every single player that we are representing.”

    Nadal refused to be drawn into a debate on the issue, saying: "When things like this happen, nothing will be perfect.”

    Wimbledon took the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players


    When he was first questioned on the subject in Madrid, Nadal deemed the treatment of his Russian peers ‘unfair’. "I think it’s very unfair (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war,” he said.

    “The 2,000 points, whenever we go to the Grand Slams, they are really important and we have to go to those tournaments. So we will have to see the measures that we take. At the end of the day, what happens in our game, it doesn’t have any importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine.”

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