Russian and Belarusian Tennis Players Ban from Wimbledon 2022

Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year because of the invasion of Ukraine.

Men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev of Russia and women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus are the highest-ranked players to be affected.

The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said it had a responsibility to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible”.

Wimbledon runs from 27 June to 10 July.

Sabalenka reached the semi-finals of last year’s tournament, while Medvedev, who has been announced as one of the stars draws at the grass-court warm-up event at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands today, reached the fourth round.

Russian world number 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – who called for the war to stop earlier this year – and 18th-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will also miss out.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev is eighth in the men’s standings, with compatriot Karen Khachanov 26th.

Only players are banned, which means coaches, umpires and physiotherapists can be involved in the tournament.

The Lawn Tennis Association has also banned Russian or Belarusian players from playing at any of the UK grass court tournaments.

They will all still be able to compete at the French Open, which begins in May.

Players from both countries have been allowed to compete on the tennis tour but not under their national flags.

The AELTC, which organises Wimbledon, consulted the government in April about whether to allow players to compete.

The AELTC is also working to withdraw TV rights from companies broadcasting in Russia and Belarus.

Although the AELTC statement says the decision could be overturned if “circumstances change materially between now and June”, that is considered very unlikely.

A statement from the LTA said it is “important to do all it can to support Ukraine at this time”.

Russia was previously banned from defending its Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup team titles after the country’s invasion of Ukraine – a military operation supported by Belarus.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the men’s association (ATP) have suspended their combined event scheduled to take place in Moscow in October.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has also cancelled its events in the country.

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