Wimbledon may exclude Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for the Belarusian war.
Wimbledon (June 27-July 10) could be the first tennis event to ban Russian and Belarusian players playing in neutral positions from early March. the New York Times On Wednesday, it was revealed that the ban was confirmed by a senior international tennis official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak on behalf of the All England Club, which hosts and hosts the tournament.
The British daily The Times confirms Wimbledon’s organizer’s willingness to ban Russian and Belarusian players from joining, rather than sticking to the compromise proposed by the British government after nearly two months of talks. I am. These negotiations aimed to have these players, including Medvejev and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, sign a declaration not to make comments in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wimbledon organizers believe that signing such a declaration can have a negative impact on the player’s family. This exclusion order may apply to all UK Grass Court tournaments this summer. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which oversees major Wimbledon warm-up tournaments such as Queens and Eastbourne, said last week that it would follow Wimbledon’s leadership. “”From a public and practical implementation perspective, we believe that coordination (between the All England Club and the LTA, Editor’s Note) is needed for this to be truly clear and understood.Scott Lloyd, LTA’s general manager, said. “”That is the most important.»»
This decision excludes the number of high-ranked players. Four Russians are in the top 30 of the ATP Tour (2nd place Daniil Medvedev currently nursing hernias, 8th place Andrey Rublev, 26th place Karen Khachanov, 30th place Aslan Khachanov). Russia has five women in the top 40 of the WTA Tour Rankings (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkovan ° 15)When, Daria Kasatkinan ° 26, Veronika Kudermetovan ° 29 and Ludmila Samsonova).Belarus’s Arina Sabalenka (last year’s semi-finalist at Wimbledon) points to 4.WhenHer compatriot Victoria Azarenka is in 18th place.
How about Roland Garros?
the New York Times Remember : “ After the start of the war in February, professional tennis organizers immediately banned Russians and their Belarusian allies from participating in team events such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup, which the Russian team won in 2021. bottom. Banned collectively on March 1st. The men’s and women’s tournament in Moscow later in the season was canceled with many subordinate events in Russia and Belarus. The International Tennis Federation has also announced the suspension of ITF membership of the Russian Tennis Federation and the Belarusian Tennis Federation. »»
Roland-Garros (May 22nd to June 5th) presented a framework of reflection on the theme of the presence of Russian and Belarusian players in mid-March. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Director General of the French Union, summarizes: Russian and Belarusian athletes are subject to strict neutrality (…) We remain on the principles of all the Ministry of Sport of the European Union and all the major countries around us. Individual athletes are banned only if he is chosen by his country. This is the framework and we stick to it. »« For now “, FFT President Gilles Moretton added.
Kremlin puts pressure
Russia’s response was quickly tracked according to this information. it would be “unacceptableTo ban Russian tennis players from participating in the Wimbledon tournament, the Kremlin smoked on Wednesday after releasing information in the British press that said such measures would come. “”Again, they take athletes hostage to political prejudices and political plots. (…) This is unacceptableKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.