The British Tennis Association (LTA) announced Wednesday that it had been threatened by the ATP and WTA that its tournaments would be suspended in 2023 if Russian and Belarusian players were not allowed to play because of the invasion in Ukraine. Wimbledon, which is independent of both the ATP and the WTA, had also refused Russian and Belarusian players in 2022.
The ATP and WTA are threatening the British Tennis Association (LTA) with suspension of all its tournaments on the men’s and women’s tours if Russian and Belarusian players, who were banned in 2022, are not allowed to play them in 2023.
In addition, the ATP fined the LTA $1 million (953,000 euros) for the exclusion last summer of Russian and Belarusian players in retaliation for the war in Ukraine. This fine corresponds to a distribution of 200,000 dollars to the five tournaments concerned (Queen’s, Eastbourne, as well as the Challengers of Surbiton, Nottingham, and Ilkley).
The WTA fined the LTA $750,000 (for its Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne tournaments) and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which hosts Wimbledon, $250,000. The LTA, “deeply disappointed”, blames the ATP for its “astonishing lack of empathy for the situation in Ukraine and a clear lack of understanding of the unique circumstances it faces”. “We will prepare our response and await the outcome of our appeal against the WTA’s decision and sanction,” the LTA statement concluded.
Wimbledon, which is independent of both the ATP and the WTA, had also rejected Russian and Belarusian players. In response, the ATP and the WTA had decided not to grant any points of classification to the Major on grass which is not concerned by the sanctions and fines targeting the LTA. Contacted by AFP, the ATP did not immediately react.
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