ATP 'on the side of murderers and invaders', says former Ukrainian tennis player turned soldier

On Friday, the ATP Tour stated that ranking points will no longer be used in this year's Wimbledon.

Sergiy Stakhovsky as a soldier in Ukraine. (Image: Twitter)

Sergiy Stakhovsky, a former Ukrainian tennis player, has launched an attack on the ATP for depriving Wimbledon of ranking points. According to Stakhovsky, the ATP’s attitude demonstrates that they are on the side of invaders and killers. Wimbledon has maintained its position that due to the continuing invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian players will be barred from competing. As a result, World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev will be one of the players who will not compete at the All England Club. On Friday, the ATP Tour stated that ranking points will no longer be used in this year’s competition. Wimbledon’s decision, according to a statement, is “discriminatory” and goes against the concept and integrity of their ranking system.

‘On the side of invaders and murderers’

Stakhovsky, on the other hand, took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the decision. The 36-year-old, who withdrew from tennis earlier this year and joined the Ukrainian army in March, claimed that players have shown sympathy for Russian and Belarusian athletes while failing to denounce the conflict in Ukraine. “To say that I am disappointed in @atptour would be understatement.. Never would expect that anyone can stand on the side of invaders and murderers… but it seems to me that even my fellow players feel sorry for invaders and collaborants from rus/blr. Players which in 85 days were not able to produce any clear message of condemnation of invasion into Ukraine. Shameful day in tennis,” he wrote.

The ATP issued a long statement explaining why ranking points were removed from the year’s third Grand Slam. The organisation believes a negative precedent could be formed and is working with Wimbledon organisers to reach a acceptable solution. Here is the full ATP statement:

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The ATP statement stripping Wimbledon of points

“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour. The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement. Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022.

“Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour. Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries. We greatly value our long-standing relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions faced in responding to recent UK Government guidance. However, we note that this was informal guidance, not a mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed declaration.

“Our internal discussions with affected players in fact led us to conclude this would have been a more agreeable option for the Tour. We remain hopeful of further discussions with Wimbledon leading to an acceptable outcome for all concerned. More broadly, we believe this matter again highlights the need for a united governance structure across professional tennis so that decisions of this nature can be made in a joint manner.”

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