The tennis world has been rocked by the ATP and WTA Tours’ decision to remove ranking points from Wimbledon this year, with some players planning to boycott the tournament if they can’t earn points while many have admitted they were not consulted in the decision-making process. And Wimbledon itself is now exploring the possibility of taking legal action against the tours, according to The Times.
The ATP and WTA made the decision in response to Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players from The Championships this year, but the tours have an agreement with the tournament to award ranking points to players for their performance at the grass-court Grand Slam. And Wimbledon could be joined by the three other Majors – the Australian Open, French Open and US Open – who are considering offering support to the tournament if it takes action.
The news comes as players have reportedly been shortening their planned stays in London so they can collect their prize money and “leave as soon as possible,” according to Jon Werthiem. “FWIW….Multiple players have cancelled their Wimbledon rental homes,” the sports journalist tweeted on Wednesday.
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And it is hoped that Wimbledon officials can force a U-turn from the ATP and WTA, with the suggestion that 50 per cent of the 2021 points can remain on players’ rankings similar to the ‘best of’ 2019 Covid ranking rules that have recently been applied. Shapovalov had proposed the solution when he slammed the decision, saying: “I also don’t agree with the ATP to take out all the points. The most guys it’s affecting are the guys in the top rankings. Obviously Novak, me, Hubi, Berrettini, who is not playing here, we’re going to drop a lot.
“So it’s difficult. Yeah, it’s difficult. I think they could have gone with it a different way, maybe keep 50 percent like they have in the past or some kind of fairness. But even a guy like Fucsovics is going to drop out of the top 100, you know. So it’s difficult for the players when you don’t have a chance to defend and especially on a surface like grass where it’s already so short and the players that play well on that surface they don’t have that many opportunities to make points, so you take a huge chunk of it out, it’s super difficult for players.”