Ukrainian tennis player criticizes Wimbledon points stripping
Retired Ukrainian tennis player Alexandr Dolgopolov has blasted his former sport's men's and women's tennis tours, the ATP and WTA, for deciding to strip Wimbledon of its ranking points.
The ATP and WTA made separate announcements revealing their moves on Friday night, which come as a response to the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) banning Russian players in connection with Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
The two bodies feel that the ban is discriminatory and against their core principles. But in a Twitter tirade reacting to the development, former world number 13 Dolgopolov lashed out at them for a "very poor decision" and for backing Russian "propaganda".
Sharing Wimbledon's statement on its point stripping, Dolgopolov said there was a "reason" why the SW19 grand slam is "probably the most known tennis competition".
"Points or no points, there are [some] things [that are] way bigger than tennis and in these hard times, Wimbledon is on the right side and will stay with its perfect reputation. As for the rest, it’s their choice," Dolgopolov added.
Sharing a screenshot of what appears to be an ATP tour press conference transcript and someone explaining why it disagrees with the ban, Dolgopolov tagged the ATP and said: "Once our fellow tennis players [tried] to say politics [should] not [be] in sports".
"Explain to me how you are saying [that] banning the athletes is actually fuel for Russian propaganda. That just showed you took a political stance and made a political conclusion based on your beliefs," Dolgopolov scoffed.
With the AELTC confirming that it is "considering" its options in a nod to potential legal action against the ATP and WTA, Wimbledon is still set to go ahead without ranking points as things stand on June 27.