Wimbledon bans Russia, Belarus players over Ukraine war

Russian and Belarusian tennis players will not be able to play at Wimbledon this year due to the war in Ukraine, the All England Club announced on Wednesday.

Among the most important male players affected by the ban are US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who recently finished 1st in the ATP rankings and is currently 2nd, and Andrey Rublev 8th.

Among the female players affected are No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka, who was a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year; Victoria Azarenka, former Australian Open winner twice; and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, last year’s French Open runner-up.

Medvedev, Rublev and Pavlyuchenkova are from Russia; Sabalenka and Azarenka are Belarusian.

Wimbledon will start on June 27th. The All England Club confirmed in March that they were debating with the UK government whether the Russians should be able to play in the Grand Slam on the grass court.

“It is our responsibility to be involved in our efforts … to limit Russia’s global influence in the strongest possible way,” the All England Club said in a statement posted on Twitter for the first time. “In the event of such an unjustified and unprecedented military attack, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to benefit from the participation of Russian or Belarusian players in the Tournaments.”

Russian athletes have been barred from competing in many sports since their country invaded Ukraine. Belarus has helped Russia in the war.

Wednesday’s move marks the first time a tennis tournament has welcomed Russian and Belarusian players, and the ATP was quick to criticize the All England Club’s men’s tennis tour as a “unilateral decision” and “unfair.”

“Our sport is proud to act on the basic principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to win their place in tournaments,” the ATP said in a statement, adding that the decision “has the potential to set a detrimental precedent.” game. “

The French Open, which begins on May 22, will be the first Grand Slam tournament to be held in February since Russia invaded Ukraine, and is expected to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete as so-called “neutral” athletes who are not their representatives. countries.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open, said on Wednesday it had not made a decision on whether Russian and Belarusian players could compete in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, which begins on August 29th.

The All England Club said that “if circumstances change materially between now and June”, “it would respond accordingly”.

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Wimbledon bans Russia, Belarus players over Ukraine war Source link Wimbledon bans Russia, Belarus players over Ukraine war

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