LTA React Badly To The ATP's Russian Reaction

Tennis News
Tuesday, 13 December 2022 at 13:16
stadium wimbledon 2021
Plenty of eyebrows were raised when the Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, who organise Wimbledon, decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from England's summer grass court events, and fines were already handed out by the Women's Tennis Association for those decisions - but this week it was confirmed that the Association of Tennis Professionals have now also followed suit by levying an £820,000 fine on the LTA in relation to male competitors, reports Dailystoke.
The decision to ban players from competing was obviously made with reference to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it did split opinions. Plenty agreed that it would create unnecessary headlines and potentially cause discomfort between Russian players and those of other nationalities in response, but equally plenty felt that it simply stigmatised Russian players over events they had no control or say in - and many, in fairness, spoke out about the war.
The ATP and others took the decision to not ban players directly, they simply requested they took part but not under the cover of their national flags.
In a further move, the ATP has also additionally warned the LTA that if they were to make a similar decision at this years round of tournaments, they could lose their ATP membership full stop.
In response, the LTA released a statement which explained that it was 'deeply disappointed' over the decision and further, they have accused the ATP of demonstrating a 'surprising lack of empathy for the situation in Ukraine'.
"The ATP, in its finding, has shown no recognition of the exceptional circumstances created by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, or the international sporting community and UK Government's response to that invasion. The ATP appear to regard this matter as a straightforward breach of their rules - with a surprising lack of empathy shown for the situation in Ukraine, and a clear lack of understanding of the unique circumstances the LTA faced."
There will be those who do not agree with that response and side with the ATP, given the alternative options available to them - although many more would have maybe preferred individual agreements with the players directly effected that was not financial, but a more workable plan for the future. Again though, almost everyone is split on how sport should have responded to this as a whole but the topic is not going away.
The LTA received fines of £164,018 for each of the five ATP events that were effected this year, namely the tour level events at The Queen's Club and Eastbourne, and the Challenger tournaments held at Surbiton, Nottingham and Ilkley.
The LTA statement continued.
"The financial impact of both this fine and the WTA's fine will have a material impact on the LTA's ability to develop and host tennis in this country. For example, we had intended to host a number of ATP Challenger level events to give more opportunities to lower ranked players in the first quarter of 2023 and will now not be able to do this, particularly given the possibility of further fines. We will carefully consider our response and we await the outcome of our appeal against the WTA's decision and sanction."
The LTA's appeal will no doubt counter that ranking points are still being given at the United Cup, despite their own ban on Russian players.

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