Following the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Wimbledon Championships, the ATP and WTA decided not to award ranking points to players for the grasscourt Major.
The All England Club took the decision in April to show their solidarity with Ukraine as the country continues to suffer under Russian attacks. In a media statement, they clarified that it was an attempt to “limit Russia's global influence."
"Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible," the statement read.
"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships," it added. “If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly.”
A month later, the ATP responded by announcing that there will be no ranking points involved in this year’s tournament as they don't encourage discrimination.
The WTA, too, followed suit and released a statement saying that the ban on Russian and Belarusian players breaches their rankings agreements.
In professional tennis, ranking points are the most important thing on offer for the players at every tournament, besides the prize money. Following the conclusion of every tournament, players are awarded points based on their performances that year after having dropped the points won at the respective event the previous year.
Who does the ban affect?
Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players will have a huge impact, both on the men's and women's side.
On the men's side, it prevents World No. 2 Danill Medvedev, Andrey Rublev (No. 7), Karen Khachanov (No. 25) and Aslan Karatsev (No. 41) among others from competing.
On the women's side, it affects top stars such as World No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka (No. 15), Daria Kasatkina (No. 20), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No. 21) and Veronika Kudermetova (No. 29).
Will Daniil Medvedev dethrone Novak Djokovic from the top spot?
While players will not have the opportunity to win points at Wimbledon this year, they will also be dropping the points won last year.
As it stands, Novak Djokovic is at the top of the rankings with 8,660 points, followed by Daniil Medvedev with 7,980 points. If points from Wimbledon 2021 are removed, Djokovic drops to 6,660 points while Medvedev will have 7,800 points.
The Russian loses just 180 points owing to his fourth-round exit, while defending champion Djokovic loses 2000 points.
But even before Wimbledon, Djokovic has 2000 points to defend from winning the French Open last year, while Medvedev earned 360 points for reaching the last eight. The Russian also has 250 points to defend from his Mallorca win in 2021 while the Serb didn't play any Wimbledon tune-up event.
Since the World No. 1 can't add any further points from Paris while Medvedev can, losing a whopping 2000 points from Wimbledon makes it difficult for him to retain the top spot.
The three-week period between Roland Garros and Wimbledon also offers a maximum of 1000 points. All things considered, it looks quite likely that Medvedev will replace Djokovic at the top of the men's rankings on July 11.