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Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments to go ahead

Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments will go ahead next month, the ATP board has confirmed (John Walton/PA)
Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments will go ahead next month, the ATP board has confirmed (John Walton/PA)

The ATP Tour has confirmed that Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments will go ahead next month, despite its opposition to Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players.

Russian and Belarusian players were last month banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon due to the invasion of Ukraine, a decision which both the WTA and ATP criticised.

The WTA has yet to comment on its events this summer.

But the ATP released a statement on Monday, saying: “Following extensive consultation with the Player Council and Tournament Council, the ATP Board has today confirmed that this season’s ATP Tour events in Queen’s and Eastbourne will proceed as normal, offering full ATP rankings points.

“LTA’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes is however contrary to ATP rules and undermines the ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination – a fundamental principle of the ATP Tour.

“Sanctions related to LTA’s violation of ATP rules will now be assessed separately under ATP governance.

“ATP’s response to Wimbledon’s decision remains under review, with more to be communicated in due course.”

Wimbledon chairman Ian Hewitt said the UK Government had left them with “no viable alternative” but to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships.

Hewitt said the club was left with only two options – an outright ban or forcing players to sign declarations condemning the invasion of Ukraine.

“We welcome the news that our ATP events this summer will be able to go ahead as planned,” the LTA said in response to the ATP’s decision.

Viking International – Day Five – Devonshire Park
The Eastbourne International will be held at Devonshire Park next month (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Based on the international condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the UK Government’s guidance we believe we have taken the right decision in these difficult circumstances.

“We are aware of the impact on individual Russian and Belarusian players, however the need for them to sign a declaration meant that entry to the events would never have rested solely on merit.

“We will continue to engage with the ATP and their processes over the coming weeks.”