imbledon is in danger of losing its ranking points for this year’s tournament by the end of the week.
Leading players have been pushing the ATP to strip the Grand Slam in response to the decision by the All England Club to ban players from Russia and Belarus competing.
ATP meetings were held in Madrid last week and are now taking place in Rome with the growing consensus of hardline action, potentially within the next 48 hours.
The ATP had previously condemned the All England Club’s ban, so too the WTA Tour, and is looking at the possibility of axing ranking points at all UK grasscourt events prior to Wimbledon.
Under Government advice, Wimbledon had effectively been left with a choice of either a ban on Russian and Belarusian players or else demanding signed declarations against the Ukraine war. The All England Club decided the latter option was too risky for the safety of the players in question and their families.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said the Government would not back down over its position and guidance to sporting events like Wimbledon, despite criticism from the likes of Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
He told Standard Sport: “We completely supported the decision that Wimbledon made. The Government policy. While I understand there is some pushback from players and governing bodies, I can tell you it’s got overwhelming support from the population. People understand exactly why they’ve done that.
“I don’t think we can be any clearer that Russia and Belarus are pariahs on the world sporting stage,” he said, “and they will continue to be as long as Vladimir Putin continues to behave in the way he has.”