WTA, ATP: No penalties for players taking part in Russian event

The WTA said that while it does not support an exhibition event being held in Russia this weekend, players who take part in it will not be sanctioned.

The men's ATP Tour said it also would not penalize its players for taking part in the second edition of the Northern Palmyra Trophies tournament, which will be held Dec. 1-3 in St. Petersburg.

The event, which is sponsored by Russian energy giant Gazprom, is being held while Russia continues its war with Ukraine.

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

"Players compete on the WTA Tour as independent contractors and, at their discretion, have the ability to participate in an exhibition without penalty during the offseason."

The ATP took a similar stance on the issue.

"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," the ATP told Reuters on Tuesday.

Among the WTA players taking part are former French and U.S. Open quarterfinalist Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, Russian world number 28 Anastasia Potapova and former Roland Garros quarterfinalist Veronika Kudermetova, who is also from Russia.

ATP players include world No. 15 Karen Khachanov of Russia, Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain and France's Adrian Mannarino, according to the event's website.

Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players in 2022, which prompted the tours to strip the event of ranking points that year, but allowed them to return as neutrals this year.

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022, the U.N. Human Rights Office said last week.