The ATP won't be sanctioning players for signing up to play in a Russian exhibition event due to the simple fact that the rules allow them to appear in any exhibition events they want in the offseason. This week, it was announced that St.
Petersburg would host an exhibition tournament featuring ATP and WTA players between December 01-03. The St. Petersburg player field is set to feature some well-known names such as Karen Khachanov, Roberto Bautista Agut, Anastasia Potapova, Veronika Kudermetova, and others.
The Lions team will be led by Khachanov and will also feature Potapova, Alexander Shevchenko, Viktoriya Tomova, Jasmine Paolini, and Laslo Djere. The other team is called The Sphinxes and Bautista Agut, Kudermetova, Dusan Lajovic, Diana Shnaider, Adrian Mannarino, and Yulia Putintseva have signed up to represent them.
Reuters reached out to the ATP for a comment. "ATP does not currently place restrictions during the off-season related to exhibition events and, as independent contractors, players are able to choose where they compete," the ATP said in a statement to Reuters.
The ATP issues a statement similar to the WTA's
A day earlier, Reuters also received a statement from the WTA, who also said the players weren't doing anything illegal in signing up for a Russian exhibition. However, the WTA noted that it is not a decision they particularly like.
"This event is not affiliated with the WTA nor is the WTA supportive of the event being held. 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 off-season," the WTA told Reuters.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, Russia and Belarus have been suspended from hosting any ATP, WTA, or ITF tournaments. Also, Russia and Belarus have been suspended from team events such as the Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup, and United Cup.
Russia has been suspended from hosting official tennis tournaments but for the second consecutive year they are hosting an exhibition event.