Representatives from Wimbledon will venture to French Open later this week in a bid to strike a deal to resolve the Grand Slam competition’s ranking points dilemma.
Senior Wimbledon officials will travel to Roland Garros in hopes of reaching a friendlier deal with the ATP after stripping the Grand Slam tournament of its points.
This year’s London Major has become a highly politicized event after the All England Club reacted to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine by banning all Russian and Belarusian athletes. The ATP and WTA expressed their opposition to this idea and fought back by ensuring that no player would earn points on the Tour at SW19.
The tensions have driven a wedge of opinion among pundits and players, but there may still be hope for compromise between the parties. The Daily Mail reported that “there are few options” if Wimbledon officials want to at least partially salvage the situation when they travel to Roland Garros this week.
It seems unlikely that the ATP or WTA will reverse their decision to withdraw the bulk of their points, which came months before the former renewed their ranking points system. The recent dissent comes amid a rise in rumors that Grand Slam tournaments could threaten to form their own system separate from the ATP.
One potential solution is to reintroduce the grass sowing formula that was only discontinued last year. This would see players’ form on grass over the previous 24 months used to calculate the top 32 seeds, meaning a better performance this year could lead to a higher draw in 2023.
World number 2 Daniil Medvedev is expected to be the most publicized absence from Wimbledon following the ban on Russian athletes. His compatriot Andrey Rublev – ranked seventh – will also be barred from attending, and he has warned that tennis could be “destroyed” unless lawmakers and key officials work together.
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“Tennis, in my opinion, is the only sport where we need tournaments to work together, and tournaments need players to work together,” he told reporters at Roland Garros on Tuesday. “And when we have a toxic relationship like now, only bad things can happen.”
British contender Dan Evans beat Francisco Cerundolo in Paris before commenting that the decision to deprive Wimbledon of points was “not the right decision”, despite being “difficult”. Benoit Paire went on to say that “99% of players” want to play SW19 for points, asking if the ATP prioritized “players or Russia”.
It is understood that a reduction in the price of Wimbledon will not be discussed when the representatives reach Roland Garros. And with only a month until the tournament begins, organizers will be increasingly desperate to ensure this year’s major serves as an extravaganza for players and fans alike.