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Wimbledon has banned Russian and Belarussian players from participating this year

In 2022, tennis players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete in the Wimbledon events owing to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, announced by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC).

Banning the Russian and Belarusian Player

The ban affects several notable players, including reigning US Open winner Daniil Medvedev, who recently rose to the top of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings.

Andrey Rublev, who is rated eighth in the men’s rankings; Aryna Sabalenka, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2021 and is ranked fourth in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, a former world No. 1 who has won the Australian Open twice, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the runner-up at the French Open last year.

Chairman of the AELTC, Ian Hewitt, said in a statement on Wednesday:  “We recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.”

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He added: “The tennis organization had carefully considered alternative measures that might be taken within United Kingdom government guidance.”

Wimbledon, the most well-known of tennis’ four Grand Slam tournaments, takes place this year from June 27 to July 10. Russian authorities responded angrily to news of the ban, saying it was unacceptably harsh. Following the February 24 invasion, tennis governing bodies banned Russia and Belarus from international team tournaments.

Russian and Belarussian players, on the other hand, were allowed to compete on tours but not under their countries’ names or flags. Players from Russia and Belarus are still eligible to compete in the French Open, which begins in May.

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Wimbledon after World War II

Since World War II, when athletes from Germany and Japan were not expected to participate, Wimbledon has not excluded competitors from specific countries.

Ukrainian tennis players Elina Svitolina and Marta Kostyuk published comments demanding a nationwide ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in international competitions ahead of Wednesday’s announcement.

A pressure group led by international athletes According to Global Athlete, banning players from the two countries would also protect athletes who have no other option but to withdraw from events. Last month, British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston stated he would not be happy if a Russian athlete wearing the Russian flag won Wimbledon in London.

Read: Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest player to win Miami Open 2022


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