PARIS: Wimbledon’s choice to ban Russian and Belarusian gamers from this yr’s event following the invasion of Ukraine was incorrect and lacked respect, world primary Novak Djokovic mentioned on Monday.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) took the choice following Russia’s invasion in February, which Moscow calls a ‘particular navy operation’. Belarus has been a key staging space for the invasion.
As a outcome, Wimbledon was stripped of its rating factors by the ATP and WTA Tours over its choice to exclude gamers from the 2 nations.
Rankings decide a participant’s means to enter tennis occasions and obtain seedings.
“On a private stage after all, with out getting a likelihood to play and defend my 4,000 factors from Australia and Wimbledon, I’ll drop them this yr,” mentioned Djokovic.
“On a private, particular person stage I’m very negatively affected by that,” mentioned the Serb following his first spherical win on the French Open.
Djokovic, who missed this yr’s Australian Open as a result of his lack of a COVID-19 vaccination and subsequent deportation, mentioned the ATP’s and WTA’s response to the Wimbledon choice was a response to a mistake.
“Collectively I’m glad that gamers received collectively and confirmed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake occurring we have now to point out there will likely be some penalties,” he mentioned.
“I believe it (Wimbledon’s ban) was a incorrect choice. I do not help that in any respect. But at these occasions it is a delicate topic and no matter you determine will create a lot of battle.”
“There was by no means sadly a robust communication coming from Wimbledon. That’s why I believe it is incorrect.”
Tennis governing our bodies have themselves banned Russia and Belarus from worldwide staff competitions however have allowed gamers from the 2 nations to compete as neutrals.
The Wimbledon transfer has been condemned by the tennis governing our bodies as discriminatory.
“It’s a very distinctive and bizarre state of affairs however a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” Djokovic mentioned, including he was planning to play on the event.
“Wimbledon has all the time been my dream since I used to be a child. I do not have a look at it via the lens of factors or prize cash however there must be some requirements with some mutual respect,” he mentioned.
“This is considered one of these varieties of selections the place there’ll all the time be somebody who will endure extra. It is a lose-lose state of affairs.”