Russian and Belarusian tennis players banned from Wimbledon!

London, UK - Tennis players from Russia and Belarus will be banned from competing at Wimbledon this summer due to the invasion of Ukraine, organizers confirmed on Wednesday.

Russian men's tennis world number two Daniil Medvedev won't be able to compete at this year's Wimbledon.
Russian men's tennis world number two Daniil Medvedev won't be able to compete at this year's Wimbledon.  © REUTERS

"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships," a statement from the All England Club said.

"It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022."

This will prevent Russian men's world number two Daniil Medvedev participating and also block Belarus' two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka among others.

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The grass-court major takes place June 27-July 10.

Wimbledon became the first tournament to ban players over the invasion as tennis has so far let Russians and Belarusians compete as neutrals. The International Olympic Committee has called on sport federations to stop athletes from the two countries competing.

"Once again, athletes are being made hostages of some political bias, political intrigue, hostile acts against our country," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "This is unacceptable."

The British tennis governing body (LTA) also said it would join the ban, meaning Russians and Belarusians will not be able to compete at other ATP and WTA tournaments this year, including at the Queen's Club in London, Nottingham, Birmingham, and Eastbourne.

"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," said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club.

Russia has already been banned from competing in major soccer tournaments, as well as Olympic competitions.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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