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Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players over Ukraine invasion: Reports

Currently, players are allowed to play in ATP and WTA tours as neutral athletes and have been allowed to put their names on the entry list for next month's French Open.

Aakash Srivastava Author

Updated - 20 April 2022 7:43 pm

Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev and former world number 1 Victoria Azarenka will reportedly not be competing at the Wimbledon this summer as the organisers are set to announce a total ban on all players from Russia and Belarus at this year’s championship.

Currently, players are allowed to play in ATP and WTA tours as neutral athletes and have been allowed to put their names on the entry list for next month’s French Open.

As per a report in The Times, Wimbledon organisers prefer to ban the players rather than adhere to a compromise solution offered by the British government. The development has seen the likes of Medvedev and last year’s Wimbledon women’s singles semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka sign statements that they do not make supportive comments of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Lawn Tennis Association, which oversees key Wimbledon warm-up tournaments such as Queen’s and Eastbourne, said they would follow Wimbledon’s lead next week. “We think from a public perspective and a practical implementation perspective that there needs to be alignment so it’s clear and understood,” LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd.

Recently, Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka, a former world number one and two-time Grand Slam title winner, expressed her opinion at length as was quoted saying Belarusian and Ukrainian people are more friendly and supportive of each other. “Hard to witness the violence currently taking place,” she added.

Belarus has been an ally of Russia and facilitated the invasion by allowing troops to cross over their border into Ukraine.

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