The WTA has followed the ATP’s lead in determining which ranking points will be awarded for grass-court events in the UK next month.
But Wimbledon could still be stripped of points in response to the All England Club and the League’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players after the invasion of Ukraine.
The decision is said to be perfectly balanced – with a verdict expected from both rounds over the next few days.
Meanwhile, LTA CEO Scott Lloyd, in his first interview since the ban was announced, said the decision was the right one, not the one that was discriminatory.
“I acknowledge the fact that it is a very complex issue and there is a range of opinions, but given the conditions we are working under in this country and the general feeling about Ukraine, I feel we made the right decision,” Lloyd told the BBC. sports.
“I don’t think discrimination is the right description here. We necessarily need to operate under government guidance here in the UK.
“We, along with a number of other sports, have come to the same conclusion – the likes of boxing, motorsports, athletics and the International Olympic Committee.”
The ATP says the decision “undermines the ability of players of any nationality to enter tournaments on merit” and is a violation of its rules.
The LTA could receive a heavy fine, and if a particularly harsh streak is taken, tournaments at The Queen’s Club and Eastbourne could face even suspension from the ATP Tour.
The LTA and the All England Club have detailed how a “guideline” from the government affected their decision.
The LTA has just received a £10.2m support package from Sport England, and Lloyd has been open about the importance of funding from the central government.
“Our partnership with Sport England and the government is actually very important to tennis in this country,” he said.
“The government will invest around £22 million to help the LTA rehabilitate the park’s tennis facilities, which is very important for grassroots tennis.
“And of course we have to remember that the past summer tennis tournaments, and Wimbledon in particular, were among the first sporting events to return to some sense of normality after the Covid pandemic. It could not have been done without the support and partnership of the government.”
However, the decision upset a lot of players, and there is a general feeling that it could have been better communicated, not just presented as a fait accompli.
Removing points from Tour events was ultimately deemed less than ideal as it would have penalized the UK competitors. Players have felt more strongly all along about pulling points out of Wimbledon, as that is the only real effect the rounds have.
Coming to a final decision is still a complex matter, and it is possible that the ATP and WTA could come to different conclusions in the end.
Some players will be affected more than others. Last year’s Wimbledon points are still expected to disappear from the ATP rankings if points are removed this year.
So Novak Djokovic will not have the chance to defend the 2,000 points he won on the court last year, and whatever happens at Roland Garros, he will lose his top spot.
Lloyd did not want to comment on the WTA’s decision until it was officially announced.
But he said he was comfortable having Lord Davis as chairman of the association, even though he currently runs the private equity firm LetterOne, founded by Russian sanctioned oligarch Mikhail Friedman.
Lloyd insists there are no double standards given the organization’s position on Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that Mervyn [Lord Davies] He fully supports the position of the United Kingdom Government on the war in Ukraine, and the actions he has taken in relation to that company have been bold and forceful.”
“I understand his desire to create about 100,000 or so jobs that exist within those companies.
“The position he has taken is to actually expel any Russian interest from this work.”