Tennis’ governing bodies have been accused of siding with “invaders and murderers” after demoting Wimbledon to exhibition status.
Wimbledon, widely regarded as the world’s most prestigious tennis event, was stripped of ranking points on Friday by the sport’s main tours in response to the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament following the invasion of Ukraine.
The move threatened to reduce Wimbledon to the status of a high-profile exhibition event.
“It is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022,” said an ATP statement.
“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…