Wimbledon 2022: Russian and Belarusian players banned from tournament

Daniel Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev replaced Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings for three weeks in 2022

Russian and Belarusian players will not be able 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.

Players from both countries were allowed to compete on the tennis circuit, but not under their national flags.

Wimbledon takes place from June 27 to July 10.

It is understood that the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) will confirm the change later this Wednesday.

Sabalenka reached the semifinals of last year’s tournament, while Medvedev reached the fourth round.

Russian world number 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – who asked for the war to stopexternal link earlier this year – and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, ranked 18th, will also be left out.

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

All of them will still be able to compete at the French Open, which starts in May.

The AELTC, which organizes the Grass Slam, consulted the government in April about the possibility of allowing players to compete.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said earlierexternal link “no one with the flag of Russia should be allowed” to play at Wimbledon.

However, WTA boss Steve Simon told BBC Sport in March that he did not believe that players from both countries should be banned from tournaments.

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

Olga Savchuk, who captained Ukraine in last week’s Billie Jean King game against the US, said Russian players should be banned from competing.

“It can’t just be a sanction against 90% of the Russian people and 10% not”, Savchuk told the New York Times.external link

“It has to be balanced and I think it’s collective guilt.”

Former Ukrainian world number 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov thanked Wimbledon for “setting an example to the world”.

“I believe Russia should be isolated in every way possible, and the people of Russia need to resolve this issue,” he told BBC Sport.

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

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

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