Novak Djokovic recently gave his thoughts on the ATP's decision to scrap ranking points from this year's Wimbledon Championships, in light of the Slam banning Russian and Belarusian players from participating.
The All England Club banned players from both nations in a show of support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia. The ATP did not take kindly to Wimbledon's decision, calling it "inconsistent," before proceeding to strip the grasscourt Major of ranking points.
When asked for his thoughts on the topic after his first-round win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic explained how he stands to lose a lot on a personal level following the ATP's decision. The World No. 1 will lose 2000 ranking points from his win at Wimbledon last year.
"Well, I mean, on a personal level, of course, without getting a chance to play and defend, you know, my 4,000 points I'm going to drop in this year, Australia and Wimbledon," the World No. 1 said. "So of course on a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that. But I have been speaking with management and the president of ATP and some of the council members actually in the last few days."
Having said that, Djokovic made it clear that he stands with his colleagues and ATP's decision to scrap ranking points. He reckons Wimbledon was bound to face consequences for their actions (banning players based on nationality).
"I think collectively I'm glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men's tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that, you know, when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences," he added.
"So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that," continued the Serb. "Of course it's up to Wimbledon or LTA, whoever was making that decision to make that decision."
The Serb then highlighted how Wimbledon had options besides barring Russian and Belarusian players but opted to go ahead under pressure from the British Government.
"But I didn't know, for example, a few days ago I found out that there was a document of recommendation from the English government towards the All England Club and where they had several options. There was not only one on the table," Djokovic said.
The Serb firmly believes Wimbledon erred in not communicating their plans to either the banned players or to the ATP. He added that any decision taken was going to cause "separation" and "conflict" and not unity, given the geopolitical environment.
"They haven't discussed it with anybody from ATP or any individual players or for that matter Russian or Belarusian players to, you know, just communicate and understand whether there is a common ground where both sides could be making a compromise and something could work out," Djokovic said.
"So I think it was a wrong decision. I don't support that at all," he continued. "But, you know, during these times, it's supersensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it's unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification."
Novak Djokovic also explained that he does not look at Wimbledon as a means to collect prize money or ranking points.
"You know, I don't look at it through the lens of points or prize money," said Novak Djokovic. "For me, it's something else. But again, there has to be some standards or criteria, some respect, mutual respect, I think."
The six-time champion at the All England Club acknowledged that players would be affected by ATP's decision as well as Wimbledon's, calling it a "lose-lose situation."
"Yeah, I think maybe there is always going to be some groups of players that are going to be affected more negatively, and they are going to complain more," Djokovic added. "It's hard, really. It's hard to say what is right, what is wrong. This is one of these kind of decisions and situations where is always going to be someone that will suffer more. It's kind of, I would say, lose-lose situation for everyone."