Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarus players: Report-Sports News, Firstpost

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Russian and Belarusian players have been able to continue competing in ATP and WTA events under a neutral flag since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus serves at Wimbledon 2021. AFP

London: Men’s tennis world number two Daniil Medvedev is set to be kicked out of the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament this year. The temperature announced organizers are to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian players have been able to continue competing in ATP and WTA events under a neutral flag since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

It was thought this would extend to the three remaining Grand Slam events – although the ITF has banned teams from both countries from the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

However, The temperature Sources have told them that after nearly two months of talks, Wimbledon organizers would rather ban the players than adhere to a compromise solution proposed by the British government.

It would have seen Medvedev and last year’s Wimbledon women’s singles semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus sign statements that they would not make comments in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Wimbledon organizers believe signing such declarations could have a negative impact on the players’ families.

This is likely to apply to all UK grass court tournaments this Summer .

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which oversees major Wimbledon warm-up tournaments such as Queen’s and Eastbourne, said last week it would follow Wimbledon’s lead.

“We think from a public point of view and in fact from a practical implementation perspective that there needs to be an alignment [between the All England Club and LTA]so it’s really clear and understood,” LTA general manager Scott Lloyd said.

“It is extremely important.”

Russian and Belarus players have been muted in their condemnation of the war, although men’s world number eight Andrey Rublev scribbled ‘no war please’ on a TV camera during a competition in Dubai immediately after the invasion.

Medvedev – currently recovering from hernia surgery – limited himself to saying “I want peace all over the world”.

However, Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka, a former world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion, was more outspoken than most.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how many innocent people have been affected and continue to be affected by such violence,” the 32-year-old said in March.

“I have always seen and met friendly and supportive Ukrainians and Belarusians. It is difficult to witness the violent separation that is currently taking place.”

Belarus is considered an ally of Russia and facilitated the invasion by allowing troops to cross its border into Ukraine.

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