Wimbledon 2022 Russia ban: Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, tennis news

Russia has sent out a chilling warning that tennis is ‘suffering’ after the sport’s most important tournament released explosive news.

Russia reacted with fury after its top stars were sensationally banned from competing at Wimbledon this year.

The world’s biggest tennis tournament banned Russian and Belarusian players in response to Ukraine’s invasion, but ATP and WTA organizers called the move “unfair” and ” very disappointing” Thursday morning (AEST).

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which operates Wimbledon, said it was acting to “limit Russia’s global influence in the strongest possible ways”.

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Russian men’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian women’s world No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka – Wimbledon semi-finalist last year – are the main players affected by the ban.

“Under the circumstances of such an unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to benefit from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian actors,” an AELTC statement said.

“Given the profile of the Championships in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit the global influence of Russia by the most powerful means possible.”

“We therefore intend, with deep regret, to refuse registrations of Russian and Belarusian players at Wimbledon,” added the AELTC.

The Lawn Tennis Association has also banned Russian or Belarusian players from participating in other UK lawn tournaments, including the Wimbledon warm-up events at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne.

Players from Russia and Belarus have been able to participate in the ATP and WTA tours since the start of the war in Ukraine, but they have not been allowed to use their national flags.

The ITF had previously banned teams from both countries from the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup.

ATP and WTA bosses say the Wimbledon ban is discriminatory and sets a damaging precedent.

“We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game. “said a statement from the ATP.

“Discrimination based on nationality is also a breach of our agreement with Wimbledon which states that player entry is based solely on ATP ranking.

“Our sport prides itself on operating under the fundamental principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to earn their place in tournaments based on ATP rankings.” The WTA said the decision was “neither fair nor justified”.

“We are very disappointed with today’s announcement,” the WTA said in a statement. “A fundamental principle of the WTA is that individual athletes can participate in professional tennis events on the basis of merit and without any form of discrimination.”

Australian men’s player John Millman also expressed frustration with the ban.

“I feel like Ukraine would be better served if Wimbledon donated all of its profits to support aid instead of banning Russian and Belarusian players,” he tweeted.

Russian players will participate in Roland-Garros

Others hit by the ban are Russian Andrey Rublev, who is currently eighth in the ATP rankings, while his compatriot Karen Khachanov is in 26th place.

Russian world number 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka are two of the other top players who will miss the Grand Slam on grass.

Wimbledon, the most prestigious of tennis’ four Grand Slam events, runs from June 27 to July 10 this year.

Currently, players from Russia and Belarus can still participate in the French Open, which begins in May.

Wimbledon chiefs spoke to the UK government earlier in April to discuss whether to follow a similar policy on the men’s and women’s tours.

“We recognize that this is hard on those affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer from the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime,” said AELTC President Ian Hewitt.

The AELTC statement added that the ban would be reviewed if circumstances “change materially” by June.

Russia reacted angrily to the reports, deeming them “unacceptable”.

“Once again they are simply turning athletes into hostages of political prejudice, political intrigue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“This is unacceptable. Considering the fact that Russia is a very strong tennis country, our athletes are at the top of the world rankings, the competition itself will suffer from their elimination. The United States Tennis Association ( USTA) acknowledged “the difficult decision made by the All England Club”.

“At the moment, the USTA has not made a decision regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in the US Open 2022.”

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