World No.1 Novak Djokovic assured Monday that he intends to play at Wimbledon this summer even if he supports the decision of the ATP to deprive the tournament of its points for having excluded Russian and Belarusian players due to of the war in Ukraine. "Yes, I intend to go to Wimbledon," said the Serb after qualifying for the second round at Roland-Garros.
Holder of the title on the London lawn, he also reaffirmed that he considered the decision of the tournament targeting the Russians and Belarusians to be an “error”.
"It's a lose-lose situation," he insisted, regretting that Wimbledon or the English Federation (LTA) did not seek common ground with the Russian and Belarusian players.
“It was either Wimbledon or the LTA who made this decision, but I learned a few days ago that there was a document with recommendations from the UK government for the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC, organizer of Wimbledon ) where there were several options. They did not discuss with anyone the ATP or the Russian or Belarusian players to try to find common ground, ”said Djokovic.
“The WTA and the ATP had offered Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian players to play exhibitions together on the sidelines of the tournament, the profits of which would have been donated to the victims in Ukraine. But Wimbledon never really talked about it,” he said.
In response to Wimbledon's decision, the ATP and WTA have decided not to award points at the next edition of the grass-court Major if the organization maintains the bans, which will be costly especially for players who go lose last year's points and will not be able to score new ones. First and foremost, Djokovic.
“From a personal point of view, this year I will lose a total of 4,000 points from Australia and Wimbledon because I will not have been allowed to defend them. So obviously it affects me very negatively”, recalled the Serb who had been expelled from Melbourne before the start of the first Major of the year, of which he was also defending champion, for having refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19. .
"I spoke with the ATP and I'm happy that collectively the players have come together with the ATP and shown at the Grand Slam tournaments that when there is a mistake made, and there are had one from Wimbledon, there are consequences,” insisted Djokovic.
Nevertheless, “Grand Slam tournaments remain Grand Slam tournaments and Wimbledon was always a dream for me when I was a kid. I don't see it through the prism of points or prize money,” he concluded.