Wimbledon 2022: banning a player is the ‘only viable option’ for a ‘global institution’, says Jamie Baker

World number one Daniil Medvedev and number eight Andrey Rublev can’t compete at Wimbledon this year

As a “global institution”, Wimbledon had to take a stand and enforce a ban on players from Russia and Belarus, says tournament director Jamie Baker.

The move, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resulted in the removal of ranking points from the ATP and WTA governing bodies.

Men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev is not present and many players have expressed their frustration over the ban.

“We had to make a very difficult decision,” Baker told BBC Scotland.

“Just because we made the decision doesn’t mean we don’t really feel the consequences for the players who aren’t there.

“Banning players is not a position I would want to be in but, as I’ve told a lot of people in the players’ lounge, we don’t have the luxury of being able to debate it over dinner. Then s ‘go away and go to bed.’

Wimbledon imposed the ban in April to ‘limit Russia’s global influence’ in line with UK government policy, but the ATP later said it ‘undermines’ its principle that all players can ‘participate’. in tournaments based on merit and without discrimination”.

“In this situation, there are no winners,” added Baker, the former British Glasgow Davis Cup player who made five first-round appearances at Wimbledon between 2006 and 2012.

“As a global institution and a really fundamental part of the British establishment, we found ourselves in a position where we got a very clear response and position from the UK government. We also have the knowledge of the platform of Wimbledon and the responsibility that goes with it.

“Putting all of these considerations into the mix, we ended up in a place where we felt the decision we made was the only viable option.”

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