Dan Evans has blasted the ATP by threatening to expel the association and sell licenses to pre-Wimbledon tournaments such as Queen’s to overseas tennis bodies if the Russians are banned from competing this year. Both Wimbledon and the NFL have yet to announce whether they will repeat last year’s ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes amid the war in Ukraine, and the men’s tennis tour could harshly punish Britain’s governing body if they don’t allow all players to compete.
Russian and Belarusian athletes were notoriously banned from last year’s British tennis tournaments, most notably Wimbledon, but also from the association’s warm-up events across Birmingham, Nottingham, Queens and Eastbourne. It remains to be seen whether the ban will be in effect this year as the war in Ukraine continues, but the ATP has already threatened LTA with possible expulsion if they reintroduce the ban – meaning Britain could lose the ATP and Challenger events to the overseas tennis bodies.
Currently Britain’s No. 2 player, Evans slammed the ATP for warning of possible removal of tournament licenses, claiming he was “not a fan” of the tennis tour using threats to stop the ATP from banning Russian and Belarusian players. “It’s a sad state of affairs if Queen’s isn’t working,” the world number 28 told The Times.
I’m not a fan of threats. The ATP should not throw stones when they live in glass houses.” If the ATP continues to claim them and sell licenses, Britain will lose its ATP 500 event in Queens, which has won several ATP awards for being the best event than 500 points over the years.
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Evans was quick to remind the men’s tour of the stature of the London event, adding: “Queen’s is one of the best and most prestigious tournaments on the tour, which did so much for the ATP Tour in its time.” The 32-year-old made it clear he had no further complaints with the ATP, but objected to their decision to use threats against the federation, having already fined the Russian and Belarusian federation £830,000 ($1 million) last year. .
“I’m a big advocate for the ATP in general,” Evans said. “They are doing great things but we have to have sensible conversations. I don’t think LTA’s threat to revoke license for these events is how it will be resolved.
It affects all Britons. They won’t get chances or play with a wild card. I think common sense should prevail. The LTA’s hands are a little tied, too. This topic is a little bigger than the tennis federations and governing bodies.”
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