While the French Open begins on Sunday, Wimbledon was the Grand Slam that grabbed the headlines after the ATP and WTA officially removed all ranking points offered at the Championships in response to Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
But the likes of former champions Nadal and Djokovic have their sights set firmly on the French Open, with the world no. 1 hoping to defend his title while the Spaniard is ready to test himself after suffering an injury scare in Rome last week . But the pair were drawn in the same quarter while the other title favorite – Carlos Alcaraz – lurks in the same half.
It was an unsuccessful comeback for Daniil Medvedev after undergoing hernia surgery as he lost his first match in Geneva, while there was good news for Roger Federer, who continues to build ahead of his Laver Cup return. And Emma Raducanu has ended criticism of her latest coaching change ahead of her French Open debut.
Express Sport takes a look at the biggest headlines from the past week, both on and off the pitch.
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Wimbledon lost ranking points as ATP and WTA clash over Russia ban
Following Wimbledon’s decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian players from The Championships this year, the ATP and WTA officially announced their decision to remove all ranking points offered at the tournament in response to the ban. The Tours had been in talks about removing ranking points for several weeks, confirming the news on Friday.
“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit and without discrimination is fundamental to our tour. Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines that principle and the integrity of the ATP ranking system,” the ATP said in a statement.
But several players have already spoken out against the removal of points, with many claiming the ATP and WTA players’ councils never consulted or listened to their peers. The likes of former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu admitted players felt “powerless” in the decision.
Nadal and Djokovic lead death group in French Open draw
Ahead of the French Open, Nadal, Djokovic and Alcaraz have been at the top of the bookmakers’ list of favorites for weeks, swapping the top three places with each other. And they must now battle each other for the title, with all being drawn in the top half of the draw in Paris.
Djokovic and Nadal are in the same quarter, meaning they can only meet in the quarterfinals, while Alcaraz and three-time Clay Masters 1000 title winner Alexander Zverev are in the other quarter of the same half. The world No. 1 has been cautious about his possible last-eight clash, only making one comment on his potential left-hand opponent in his pre-tournament press conference: “I’ve been training mainly with right-handers so will play against left-handers yes, that is difficult.”
Federer gives fresh injury update with Laver Cup comeback
After his third knee surgery last August, there have been several updates on Federer’s progress. The 40-year-old has not played since Wimbledon last year and is planning a comeback at the Laver Cup in September. Now he seems poised, ready in time for the team tournament at London’s O2 Arena, and he could even be back at Wimbledon next summer.
“He’s exactly where he wants to be but unfortunately it takes time. He will play at the Laver Cup and the Swiss Indoors,” his agent Tony Godsick told Standard Sport. “I don’t want to be the doctor, I want to be what I’m hoping for. He’s to have a great rehab this summer, play some in the fall and give it a good chance in 2023 and then see what happens. I haven’t spoken to him about it.”
And the 20-time Major champion is ready to go and hoping to up the intensity of his training, saying he’s ready to “go all out” on the tennis court again. Speaking to Caminada, he said: “I’m waiting for the doctors’ okay. I’m ready to give it my all again. I feel like a racehorse scratching the stable and wanting to race. In the summer I hope to be able to hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to coming home in the evening completely exhausted after a hard day’s training.”
Raducanu hits back at doubters after axing coach
Raducanu makes her French Open debut next week and is still without a full-time coach after firing Torben Beltz last month for “transitioning to a new training model”. She currently travels with Iain Bates, head of women’s tennis at the LTA, but has come under fire for choosing to forego a head coach in her first full season on the tour.
But the 19-year-old isn’t worried about outside opinions and reveals she was happy to go it alone. “It’s not difficult,” she told Eurosport. “I’m enjoying my tennis at the moment and even when you’re playing matches you have to be your own coach so I’m very confident in what I’m doing right now.”