The WTA has decided ranking points will be awarded for next month’s UK grass-court events despite the ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
In a decision mirroring the one made by the ATP regarding the men’s events on Monday, the women’s tournaments at Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne will go ahead as planned.
But Wimbledon could still be stripped of ranking points. The decision is said to be finely balanced – with a verdict expected from both tours in the next few days.
Players have been banned by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) from all UK grass-court tournaments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Wimbledon bosses consulted the UK government before announcing the ban, stating it would be “unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players” at this summer’s Grand Slam.
The Lawn Tennis Association then joined Wimbledon in barring players from the domestic tournaments but the stance has been criticised by a number of players.
Players from both countries have been allowed to compete on the tennis tour, including at this month’s French Open, but not under their national flags.
The ATP Player Council had been in favour of stripping ranking points from tournaments but both the WTA and ATP will have been aware that a lot of players would have suffered from the removal of points, which are such a valuable currency in gaining entry to future tournaments.