Russian WTA, ATP Event: Players not subject to penalties for participation

The WTA has announced its non-support for an exhibition event scheduled in Russia this weekend. However, players participating in the tournament will not face any sanctions.

Similarly, the men’s ATP Tour has stated that it will not penalize its players for taking part in the second edition of the Northern Palmyra Trophies tournament, set to be held in St. Petersburg from Dec. 1-3. The event, sponsored by Russian energy giant Gazprom, is being held amid Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

The governing body of women’s tennis, WTA, told Reuters on Monday, “This event is not affiliated with the WTA nor is the WTA supportive of the event being held.”

The WTA also emphasized that as independent contractors, players have the discretion to participate in exhibitions during the offseason without facing any penalties.

Similarly, the ATP stated on Tuesday, “ATP does not currently place restrictions during the offseason related to exhibition events and, as independent contractors, players are able to choose where they compete.”

Notable WTA players participating in the event include Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, Anastasia Potapova of Russia, and Veronika Kudermetova, also from Russia. ATP players include Karen Khachanov of Russia, Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, and Adrian Mannarino of France, according to the event’s website.

Wimbledon had banned Russian and Belarusian players in 2022, leading to the removal of ranking points for the tournament that year. However, they were allowed to return as neutrals this year.

It’s worth noting that more than 10,000 civilians have lost their lives in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, as reported by the U.N. Human Rights Office last week.


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