Novak Djokovic ‘glad’ about Wimbledon punishment despite the personal cost

Novak Djokovic has backed the decision from the ATP and WTA to sanction Wimbledon, despite the costs to himself personally.

The ATP and WTA both decided to strip Wimbledon of rankings points in response to Russian and Belarusian players being banned from the event this year.

That means Djokovic is certain to lose all of the 2,000 points he won at the All England club last year, which will cost him his world number one spot.

However, speaking after his impressive 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over Yoshida Nishioka at Roland Garros, Djokovic came out in support of the sanctions.

“On a personal level without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points I’m going to drop this year [from] Australia and Wimbledon I have been very negatively affected by that,” Novak Djokovic told reporters in Paris.

“But I have been speaking with management and the president of ATP and some of the council members actually in the last few days.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences.

“So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.

“Of course it’s up to Wimbledon or LTA [Lawn Tennis Association], whoever was making that decision to make that decision.

“But I didn’t know, for example, a few days ago I found out that there was a document of recommendation from the English government towards the All England Club and where they had several options. There was not only one on the table.

“They haven’t discussed it with anybody from ATP or any individual players or for that matter Russian or Belarusian players to just communicate and understand whether there is a common ground where both sides could be making a compromise and something could work out. So I think it was a wrong decision.”

Naomi Osaka has already said she is unlikely to play Wimbledon without the reward of ranking points, and many expect other high-profile players to follow.

Novak Djokovic kissing Wimbledon trophy 2021

What about Novak Djokovic, though? Can we expect to see him defend his title this summer?

“Of course a Grand Slam is still Grand Slam,” he said. “Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child.

“I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else. But again, there has to be some standards or criteria, some respect, mutual respect, I think.

“I think maybe there is always going to be some groups of players that are going to be affected more negatively, and they are going to complain more.

“It’s hard, really. It’s hard to say what is right, what is wrong. This is one of these kind of decisions and situations where is always going to be someone that will suffer more.

“It’s kind of, I would say, lose-lose situation for everyone.”

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