Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens has backed the decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points, while British No 1 Cameron Norrie says the tournament has been reduced to nothing more than an exhibition
Last Updated: 22/05/22 5:16pm
Sloane Stephens has backed the decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points, after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players from the Grand Slam.
Both the WTA and the ATP announced on Friday that no points would be on offer at this year’s tournament after Wimbledon chiefs banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
A number of players including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have spoken out against the All England Club’s stance.
“I think when you look at the principles and what our Tour stands for, discrimination will never be tolerated”
And Stephens, a member of the Tour’s player council, said: “I think the (WTA’s) decision that was taken was the correct one.
“I think that there is a lot of things that happened behind the scenes and I think there has been a lot of mishandling of how everything was handled.
“We will just go from there. Obviously I support our CEO, I support my council, I support the players.
“The decision that’s been taken obviously wasn’t taken lightly. I think when you are backed into a corner and that’s all you can do, I think that’s why the decision was made, and I support it.
“I think when you look at the principles and what our Tour stands for, discrimination will never be tolerated.”
Wimbledon will be ‘like an exhibition’
Cameron Norrie believes the grass-court tournament has been reduced to nothing more than an exhibition this summer.
The British No 1 also fears some top stars may even opt not to compete at the season’s third Grand Slam.
World No 11 Norrie feels the country’s flagship tournament has been diminished as the top players would “not really be playing for anything”.
“Wimbledon is still such a special event. But I think you’ll see a lot of top players not playing, you know, just resting and getting ready for the hard-court events, especially those that don’t worry too much about the money”
“Obviously it’s an extremely difficult situation with everything going on with the war, but for me it’s tough,” said Norrie.
“You know, having a home slam and not gaining any ranking points from that, and the tradition of it, you’re not really playing for anything. You’re playing this almost like an exhibition, so for me it was tough to see that.
“Obviously it’s a really tricky situation but I would have liked to see it still have points, to still have something on the line.
“This changes the ranking systems a lot, they’ve taken away almost 6,000 points from the whole system out of nowhere, so it’s going to interfere with the rankings, and then a lot of players that did well at Wimbledon last year are going to be dropping.
“I’d like to have points. Obviously having a home Slam, and not many tournaments on the grass already, and then suddenly there’s no points there.
“I understand the situation is tricky. And there’s complications everywhere. But for me, that’s how I feel.”
Norrie continued: “Wimbledon is still such a special event. But I think you’ll see a lot of top players not playing, you know, just resting and getting ready for the hard-court events, especially those that don’t worry too much about the money.
“So I could see a lot of players, well maybe a few top players, not playing because of that. It’ll be interesting to see.”