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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Corretja, Costa Boycott Wimbledon




LONDON -- Two of the world's leading players, Alex Corretja and Albert Costa, turned their backs on Wimbledon on Sunday in a bitter row over seedings on the eve of the grasscourt championships.


World No. 11 Corretja and Costa, ranked 15, were furious with tournament organizers because they were not seeded. The Spaniards' best results have come on hard and claycourt surfaces.


"They don't respect our games, they don't respect our talent, they don't respect our faith to the [ATP] Tour," Corretja told reporters.


"It was nothing against Wimbledon. It was something that we believe was unfair for the players because you cannot be forced to play a tournament where they don't respect your ranking."


Costa had been drawn to play Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, in the first round. The Dutch player, who is ranked 25 in the world, is seeded 11th.


Corretja was to have played fellow Spaniard Alberto Martin.


The 16 seeds at grand slam tournaments are drawn to avoid playing each other until the fourth round, but high world rankings are no guarantee of seeding at Wimbledon.


"Let's say first round you can meet Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi, who you [should] never face before the fourth round at least," Corretja said.


Corretja and Costa will not be fined, All England Club chairman Tim Phillips said.


"The players have already suffered in terms of automatically incurring a zero pointer towards their ranking which cannot be made up at other tournaments, have lost the opportunity to earn prize money. We will not on this occasion levy further penalties against them," he said.


The ATP introduced a new ranking system this year.


"We see a main difference this year, since the ATP Tour is forcing us or telling the players to play all the mandatory events, including the nine Masters Series events and the four Grand Slams," said Corretja.


"We believe if the ATP is forcing us to play these tournaments, they should respect the ranking."


The ATP system is adjusted by the All England Club's Order of Play Committee, which determines the seedings at Wimbledon, to "better reflect player skills on grass."


Phillips had said Saturday that Wimbledon might change the way it worked out seedings for next year's championships after the complaints.


"We were unwilling to revise the seedings and draw as requested, but both organizations have agreed to work together over the next 12 months to determine a seeding system that addresses player prowess on different types of surface," he said in statement Sunday.


Werner Eschauer of Austria replaces Corretja, and Michael Kohlmann of Germany will play instead of Costa.