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2022 Wimbledon lack of points still reverberates

Points will be back at SW19 this year, but for some it will be too little, too late.

Last year, Wimbledon, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, made the decision to exclude Russian and Belarusian players, as well as not rewarding points to anyone who did play.

Heather Watson, former British No.1, still rues the tournament’s decision. Now ranked 178, Watson expressed her disappointment over the lack of points in a recent press conference, attended by Talking Tennis. "Last year's Wimbledon has such great memories, but I got zero benefit from it afterwards, for the rest of the year,” she told reporters during a tournament in Surbiton, UK.

Watson made it to the fourth round last year and said: "I would have been top 100 for most of the rest of the year, and would have been [in the] main draws of the grand slams." As it was, she reached the final of a 250-level tournament, which was the equivalent to playing just one match in a higher-level WTA tournament that she might have qualified for had she received the points she earned at Wimbledon. "The grand slams are what fund the rest of your year," she exclaimed. "When you must pay for your coach, hotels, travel…that’s what you live off of."

In defence of British tennis

As for her current ranking, she says that because of the Wimbledon points situation last year, rankings don't truly reflect what’s happening. She defended British Tennis, saying: "When Emma Radacanu won the U.S. Open everyone said British Tennis was amazing. We have a lot of great players. We did great at Fed Cup in Glascow, and often, players are injured, and their ranking doesn't reflect their ability. My ranking is a question mark. I'm reliant on wild cards for certain tournaments and I don't like to be relying on that. I like to be in on my own merits."

This year will be business as usual at Wimbledon. All players will be allowed to compete, and points will be awarded. Russia, however, will not be allowed to commercially sponsor any of its players.

Wimbledon organisers have said players are prohibited from expressing support for the invasion, and must not receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states.

Veronika Kudermetova is one of the players affected as she is sponsored by Tatneft an oil and gas company and will remove the company's logo from her kit in order to play at SW19.


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