Dan Evans hits out over ATP and WTA threats – ‘ATP should not throw stones when they live in glass houses’
Dan Evans is the latest to voice his criticism following threats from the ATP and WTA Tours to strip the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) of its membership, which will result in events like Queen’s Club and Eastbourne losing its places on the tennis calendar.
The controversy started in 2022 when the LTA as well as the All England Club (AELTC) banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing at British events – including Wimbledon, Queen’s Club, Birmingham and Eastbourne – following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
The ATP and WTA then retaliated by striping Wimbledon of ranking points while the LTA was fined £1.4m and also hit with a stern warning.
There is talk that that the ban will remain in place this year, but the ATP and WTA have warned that “discrimination based on nationality” could result in the LTA’s membership being cancelled.
READ MORE: Wimbledon may be threatened after ATP issues huge fine for Russian ban
Should the Tours go through with the threats then the cinch Championship, Eastbourne International (both ATP and WTA events) and the Birmingham Classic will all be impacted.
The threats have not gone down well with Evans as he told The Times: “It’s a sad state of affairs if Queen’s wasn’t on.”
He added: “I’m not a fan of the threats. The ATP should not throw stones when they live in glass houses.
“Queen’s is one of the best and most prestigious tournaments on the Tour, which has done a lot for the ATP Tour in its time.”
The British No 2 believes threats are not the way to go as there are better ways to resolve the issue.
“I’m a massive advocate for the ATP generally. They do great things but we have to have sensible conversations,” he continued.
“I don’t think threatening the LTA with taking away the licence for these events is how it’s going to be resolved.”
An LTA source told The Guardian earlier this week that “the organisation faces an existential threat if the grass court events aren’t staged” adding that losing its membership would also impact efforts to grow the sport in the United Kingdom.
And it is not just the LTA that will be affected if the events are scrapped, British players will also be hit hard.
“It affects all of the Brits,” Evans said. “They’re not going to get chances or playing opportunities with a wildcard.
“I think common sense should prevail. The LTA’s hands are tied a little bit as well. This subject goes a bit bigger than tennis federations and governing bodies.”
READ MORE: Thomas Bach slams British Government over Wimbledon ban on Russian players
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