No rating factors at Wimbledon — What Djokovic, Medvedev, Osaka and different gamers should say concerning the choice


When requested concerning the choice to not award rating factors at Wimbledon this yr, four-time main champion Naomi Osaka stated the match will now be “extra like an exhibition.”

Different gamers have responded with anger, confusion and ideas of skipping Wimbledon altogether. The announcement, made on Friday by the WTA and ATP, was in response to All England Club’s ban on players from Russia and Belarus.

The transfer could have main repercussions for reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who won’t be able to defend 2,000 factors, and can seemingly then lose his No. 1 rating. Defending girls’s champion Ashleigh Barty has retired, however different gamers who made a deep run in Wimbledon in 2021 may lose a considerable quantity of factors as effectively.

On the French Open this week, Djokovic, Osaka, and among the sport’s largest names gave their opinions on this unprecedented chain of occasions. French participant Benoit Paire even took the uncommon step of calling his personal information convention following his first-round loss to make sure he had a platform to talk his thoughts on the polarizing subject.

Right here, some excerpts of what they’ve stated to the media this week:

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

20-time main champion (six at Wimbledon), world No. 1

“In fact on a private, particular person stage, I’ve been very negatively affected by that. However I’ve been talking with administration and the president of ATP and among the council members really in the previous couple of days.

“I believe collectively I am glad that gamers acquired along with ATP, the governing physique of the boys’s tennis, and confirmed to the Grand Slam that … when there’s a mistake occurring, and there was from the Wimbledon aspect, then we’ve got to point out that there’s going to be some penalties.

“It is arduous, actually. … It is sort of, I’d say, lose-lose state of affairs for everybody.” More on Djokovic’s comments.

Naomi Osaka (Japan)

4-time main champion

“I’d like to go simply to get some expertise on the grass courtroom, however on the similar time, for me, it is sort of like — I do not need to say pointless, no pun meant, however I am the kind of participant that will get motivated by, like, seeing my rating go up or like, you realize, stuff like that.

“So I believe the intention was actually good, however the execution is sort of everywhere …

“I really feel like if I play Wimbledon with out factors, it is extra like an exhibition. I do know this is not true, proper? However my mind simply feels that method. Each time I believe one thing is like an exhibition, I simply can’t go at it 100%.

“I did not even make my choice but, however I am leaning extra in the direction of not taking part in given the present circumstances, however, you realize, that may change.” More on Osaka’s comments.

2020 French Open champion, world No. 1

“I am OK with taking part in with out factors; I am OK taking part in with factors. However for me it is extra the political aspect of issues, as a result of, you realize, Poland is supporting Ukrainians, and the battle is true subsequent to my nation. So mainly, it is tougher on me from that perspective. I do not actually thoughts about factors. For me, you realize, it is Wimbledon, for certain. It is one of the essential tournaments within the season.

“However there may be battle occurring. So I take a look at it extra from that method than, you realize, what’s gonna occur on rankings.”

2021 Wimbledon finalist

“I believe it is tremendous robust and unfair and [a] dangerous choice. … However I suppose there’s not a lot you are able to do about it. I nonetheless need to go and compete there, that is for certain, as a result of I am not taking part in due to the factors, not even due to the cash. I simply, in fact, I need to win and I need to succeed and I need to perhaps get the trophy as a result of I used to be fairly shut final yr.

“However that does not change … that I believe it is fully unsuitable, the choice, not even the one from Wimbledon, I believe extra the one from WTA.

“I believe they need to maintain at the least 50% from the final yr or all of the factors. As a result of, I imply, it was the identical like when it was COVID, if there [were] no tournaments you saved the factors for like one yr or two years virtually [for] some gamers.

“So I believe they did not actually assist anyone. Like, I imply, they punished Wimbledon perhaps. However I believe a lot of the gamers, when you love the sport you are still going to go and play. So I believe they primarily punished the gamers, which I did not fairly get …”

Ukraine No. 5

“As a Ukrainian, I believe that I ought to present as a lot assist for my nation as I can, and I believe it was the precise choice from Wimbledon simply to point out some assist from the tennis world. In fact, I did not like the choice about taking part in with no factors. I hope that, I do not know, I simply hope that one thing will change within the tennis world within the thoughts of the gamers and within the thoughts of our affiliation. …

“I believe my private opinion is that as we see quite a lot of sports activities, they banned Russia, a variety of Russian gamers and in tennis it is just one match. I truthfully suppose that this isn’t a really huge worth for them to pay or to just accept. I believe it is not an excessive amount of, it is not a lot, actually, it is only one match.

“However, I do not know, for them they really feel like they’re shedding their job. And I additionally really feel many dangerous issues, I really feel quite a lot of horrible issues and I believe in comparison with that, shedding an opportunity to play in a single match is nothing.”

Benoit Paire (France)

World No. 78

“We’re going to play a match with none factors. When some folks had COVID, we did not say, ‘Oh, okay, we must always cancel the match altogether.’ However then we’ve got three or 4 Russian gamers, together with Medvedev, and we’re rallying in opposition to Wimbledon. I believe it is a pity, as a result of if we have been to hearken to all of the gamers, gamers don’t perceive this choice. Ninety-nine % of gamers, they need to have factors and to play the match because it was earlier than.

“So I need to know if ATP desires to defend gamers or Russia. …

“I’ll go there to get my prize cash, as I’d for an exhibition match. However the query is: Why did not they discuss with gamers upstream? Sure, after they say there was a council which voted, no one advised us about this. If it is a battle between ATP and Wimbledon, it is not good for us, as a result of we need to play usually.

“I am sorry for Russia and Russians, however they’re those inflicting all the difficulty. And all of the ATP gamers are literally paying the value. Medvedev can be No. 1 worldwide. That is absurd. We must always really take place for all of the gamers on this planet, and it is the alternative that’s being carried out proper now.

2021 Wimbledon semifinalist

“I do not agree with both [decision]. I believe to begin with, you probably have a professional competitors, that everyone must be competing. I fully perceive the politics and the state of affairs they’re in.

“However once more, you probably have a tennis match that is alleged to have the perfect athletes on this planet, it should not matter the place you are from, this and that, you realize? So everyone must be competing.

“I additionally do not agree with the ATP to take out all of the factors. Essentially the most guys it is affecting are the blokes within the prime rankings. Clearly Novak, me, Hubi [Hurkacz], [Matteo] Berrettini, who is just not taking part in right here, we’ll drop so much.

“So it is tough. I believe they may have gone with it a distinct method, perhaps maintain 50 % like they’ve up to now or some sort of equity. However even a man like [2021 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Marton] Fucsovics goes to drop out of the highest 100, you realize.

2017 US Open champion, member of WTA’s Participant Council

“I believe the choice that was taken was the proper one. I believe that there are quite a lot of issues that occurred behind the scenes that the press are usually not conscious of, and I believe there was quite a lot of mishandling of how the whole lot was dealt with.

“I imply, clearly I assist our CEO, I assist my council, I assist the gamers. The choice that is been taken clearly wasn’t taken frivolously. I believe when you find yourself backed right into a nook and that is all you are able to do, I believe that is why the choice was made, and I assist it.

“I can let you know that we labored actually arduous to attempt to make it possible for everybody had a good alternative to play, and on the finish of the day that is not what occurred. …

“I believe while you take a look at the rules and what our tour stands for, discrimination won’t ever be tolerated. That is precisely what’s occurring. So long as that is in play, there aren’t any factors.”

2021 US Open champion, world No. 2

“Once I learn the FAQ of ATP, why they made this choice, as a result of they’re explaining themself, they aren’t simply saying, ‘OK, we determined that,’ I discovered it very logical what they are saying at the least. That is what I did not discover in Wimbledon explanations.

“I am not saying which choice is true, however at the least to date in explaining their selections, I discovered ATP simply extra logical and extra consecutive. …

“I might be actually completely satisfied to play Wimbledon. I really like Wimbledon. I really like taking part in on grass. I’ll play on grass after Roland Garros.

“But when I can not, I imply, [I’m] simply going to organize for subsequent tournaments, and, you realize, simply observe what’s occurring there. There aren’t any factors, I develop into No. 1, effectively, nice for me. If there are factors, I can not develop into No. 1, I’ll be gutted. It’s what it’s. I can not change some selections, each about ATP and Wimbledon.”

2017 French Open champion

“It needs to be honest to everybody. In fact we gamers can say our opinions, however I really feel like nonetheless we aren’t those who’re making the choice. There are in fact quite a lot of rumors and talks, however I believe perhaps they will change their thoughts. I am unsure about factors. However I believe quite a lot of issues could occur inside the subsequent, like, week or two weeks.

“However, I imply, if there aren’t any factors, I am probably not certain what I am gonna do. … As a result of I really feel prefer it’s a bit of bit unfair to play the match when there aren’t any factors and also you sort of, you may win the match after which you do not transfer one spot up within the rating. So it is a bit of bit unusual.

“However in fact it’s extremely prestigious match, so nonetheless, I imply, in fact I really like Wimbledon and I need to play it. Hopefully, I do not know, one thing will change inside the subsequent few weeks.”

2018 Wimbledon semifinalist

“I do not know the way that is going to have an effect on the sphere. It’ll have a distinct really feel to it. You realize, I do not personally agree with the choice to ban the gamers from Russia and Belarus. However the gamers, we might additionally desire to be taking part in for factors, so I — however I get it. I am not saying the ATP has made a unsuitable choice, however we would like to be taking part in with factors.

“However I positively stand with the ATP within the sense that I imagine these gamers must be taking part in. They do not have something to do with the invasion occurring. You realize, all of us simply need this, the entire world simply desires this to return to an finish by some means. It stinks that it is interfered with sports activities, however that is the way in which of the world now. …

“I imply, it is nonetheless Wimbledon, proper? Somebody goes to get topped the champion. They’re simply not going to get 2000 factors. It is positively a distinct really feel. I do not know the way I’ll regulate to it. Proper now, in truth, I am not that stoked about Wimbledon. I would simply present up on Saturday and perhaps I’ll play Monday and see what occurs. As a result of, you realize, our forex on tour is factors.”

British No. 1

“Wimbledon continues to be such a particular occasion. However I believe you may see quite a lot of prime gamers not taking part in, simply resting and preparing for the hard-court occasions. Particularly people who don’t be concerned an excessive amount of concerning the cash.

“Clearly it is an especially tough state of affairs with the whole lot occurring with the battle. This adjustments the rating methods so much. They’ve taken away virtually 6,000, 5,000 factors from the entire system out of nowhere, so it is gonna intrude with the rankings after which quite a lot of gamers that did effectively at Wimbledon final yr are going to be dropping.”

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