Expect a strong reaction from us, WTA Chief tells Wimbledon, LTA

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Chief Steve Simon says Wimbledon and Lawn Tennis Association(LTA) should expect a strong reaction should they go ahead to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in their events.

Simon made this statement after organisers of Wimbledon, All England Club (AELTC), and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) pronounced an impediment to athletes from these regions following the invasion of Ukraine The Trumpet gathered.

Reacting to the obnoxious move, ATP and WTA said the decision by Wimbledon and LTA contravenes the Grand slam rules which portray it as discriminatory. They expressed that entry into events is always on merit-base.

Simon underlined the distinctions in WTA jurisdiction over Wimbledon and its own sanctioned events adding that Wimbledon should expect a strong reaction from the tennis governing body.

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According to the Tennis Podcast, Simon said, “We don’t have the same jurisdiction over the Grand Slams as we do over our own sanctioned events.

“We have precedents, where these situations may have occurred where fines and tournament sanctions have been imposed.

“I do think that you’ll see some strong reactions that will come from us but what those are and how far they’ll go is still to be determined,” he added.

However, the WTA chief stressed that sports are supposed to be exempted from all sorts of political inclinations but could hardly see it so.

Simon continued: “People take the position that sports and politics shouldn’t match and shouldn’t be intertwined, but that’s not the reality.

“At times sports does cross into politics and here is a situation where politics is crossing into sports. It is real life.

“The one thing that this sport has always agreed upon, we don’t agree on a lot of things, but the one thing we have always been united on was that entry into our events has always been based upon merit and without discrimination,” he added

AELTC defending its actions said its decision complemented the British government’s efforts to wane the global influence of Russia.

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