clearn.png
Wednesday July 6th, 2022 3:33AM

Wimbledon bans players from Russia, Belarus over Ukraine war

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — Tennis players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to play at Wimbledon this year because of the war in Ukraine, the All England Club announced Wednesday.

Among the prominent men's players affected by the ban are reigning U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who recently reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is currently No. 2, and No. 8 Andrey Rublev. The women's players affected include No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka, who was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year; Victoria Azarenka, a former No. 1 who has won the Australian Open twice; and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the French Open runner-up last year.

Medvedev, Rublev and Pavlyuchenkova are from Russia; Sabalenka and Azarenka are from Belarus.

Wimbledon begins on June 27. The All England Club confirmed in March that it was having discussions with the British government about whether Russians should be able to play in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament.

“It is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts ... to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible,” the All England Club said in a statement first posted on Twitter. “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.”

Russian athletes have been prevented from competing in many sports following their country’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarus has aided Russia in the war.

Soccer, figure skating and track and field all banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams from their events because of the war. The Russian men's national soccer team was excluded from last month's World Cup qualifying playoffs, forcing them to miss a chance to reach this year's tournament in Qatar.

Wednesday’s move signals the first time a tennis tournament has told players from Russia and Belarus they are not welcome — and the ATP was quick to criticize the All England Club for what the men's tennis tour called a “unilateral decision” and “unfair.”

“Our sport is proud to operate on the fundamental principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to earn their place in tournaments,” the ATP said in a statement, adding that the decision “has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.”

The WTA also said it was “very disappointed” with the decision.

“As the WTA has consistently stated, individual athletes should not be penalized or prevented from competing due to where they are from, or the decisions made by the governments of their countries,” the women's tour said in a statement. “The WTA will be evaluating its next steps and what actions may be taken regarding these decisions.”

The seven groups that run the sport around the world decided March 1 that players from those countries would be allowed to compete in WTA, ATP and Grand Slam tournaments but not under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus. Those two nations also were kicked out of the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup team competitions; Russia had been the reigning champion in both.

The French Open, which starts on May 22, will be the first Grand Slam tournament held since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and is expected to permit Russian and Belarussian players to compete — just as so-called “neutral” athletes who may not represent their countries.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open, said Wednesday it has not made a decision about whether players from Russia and Belarus can compete at the year's last Grand Slam tournament, which begins on Aug. 29.

The All England Club said that if “circumstances change materially between now and June,” it would “respond accordingly.”

“We recognise 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," All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said.

"We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships.”

Some current and former tennis players from Ukraine — including two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Elina Svitolina and the recently retired Sergiy Stakhovsky — put up a statement on Twitter on Wednesday that called on the WTA, ATP and International Tennis Federation to ask players representing Russia and Belarus whether they support the invasion of Ukraine.

“In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening,” the posts said. “We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at some point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stating that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine.”

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Men's Tennis, AP Sports - Women's Tennis
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Johnny Depp testifies he was demeaned, berated by ex-wife
Actor Johnny Depp has returned to the stand for testimony in his libel lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, who he says berated and attacked him constantly during their short-lived marriage
10:44AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Trump gets a bold Shakespearean twist in new play 'The 47th'
A play that offers an audaciously Shakespearean take on recent and future U.S. politics is running at London's Old Vic theater
10:41AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Wimbledon bans players from Russia, Belarus over Ukraine war
Russian and Belarusian tennis players have been banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon tournament because of the war in Ukraine
10:40AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
LEADING OFF: Ohtani on mound, White Sox and Guardians play 2
Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night for the Los Angeles Angels in Houston, and the two-way superstar is off to a much better start at the plate than on the mound this season
3:12AM ( 7 hours ago )
Fried, Jansen mow down Dodgers as Braves stop LA streak, 3-1
Max Fried looked right at home, opening with five perfect innings while pitching the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers
2:44AM ( 8 hours ago )
Pelicans rally past Suns 125-114 after Booker's injury
Brandon Ingram scored 37 points, CJ McCollum added 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the top-seeded Phoenix Suns 125-114 in Game 2, evening the series in their Western Conference first-round matchup
2:06AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Sports
Djokovic is motivated to compete again for biggest titles
Novak Djokovic has said he is ready to resume competing for the biggest titles in tennis and move on from the controversy surrounding his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19
1:23PM ( 1 week ago )
Iga Swiatek becomes 1st Polish tennis player ranked No. 1
Iga Swiatek has moved up one spot to the top of the WTA rankings and is the first tennis player from Poland to be No. 1 in the sport
9:02AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Vamos, Carlos: Alcaraz gives Spain a Miami Open men's winner
Spanish fans brought plenty of their nation’s flags to Hard Rock Stadium, thrusting them into the air whenever things were going well for Carlos Alcaraz
3:33PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Online Tennis
Palin on serving in Congress: 'It would be all about Alaska'
Sarah Palin says she’s serious about her campaign for the U.S. House, telling The Associated Press that her unique place in American politics would put her in a stronger position representing Alaska in Washington
8:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
Israeli ultra-nationalists to march in Jerusalem despite ban
A group of Israeli ultra-nationalists said it is determined to go ahead with a flag-waving march around predominantly Palestinian areas of Jerusalem’s Old City, brushing aside a police ban of an event that served as one of the triggers of last year’s Israel-Gaza war
8:29AM ( 2 hours ago )
Ukraine war refugees top 5 million as assault intensifies
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russian troops invaded the country
8:13AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
African wildlife, coasts suffer effects of flooding, drought
Devastating floods in South Africa this week, as well as other extreme weather events across the continent linked to human-caused climate change, are putting marine and terrestrial wildlife species at risk, according to biodiversity experts
6:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
Live updates | Mariupol mayor urges residents to leave
Mariupol mayor Vadym Boychenko is urging residents to leave the city
5:41AM ( 5 hours ago )
Russia hits Ukrainian cities, pours more troops into war
Russia is hurling its military might against Ukrainian cities and towns and pouring more troops into the war
3:08AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Kyrgios docked point, then game, and falls at Miami Open
Nick Kyrgios lost his cool, then a point, then a game and then the match
7:44PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Will Smith confronts Chris Rock, then wins best actor Oscar
Will Smith marched on stage and smacked presenter Chris Rock during Sunday night’s Oscars after Rock made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith
8:33AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Oscar Moments: The night emotion won, for better and worse
Every Oscar show has its big moments, but Will Smith’s slap heard ’round the world overshadowed them all this year
6:06AM ( 3 weeks ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
German intel: Known antisemitism cases 'tip of the iceberg'
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says that antisemitic offenses are continuing to rise and those that come to light are only “the tip of the iceberg.”
10:38AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Netflix aims to curtail password sharing, considers ads
Streaming service Netflix is dealing with a sharp drop in subscribers by considering changes to its service that it has long resisted
10:37AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Feds: Intruder killed at Peruvian ambassador's residence
U.S. Secret Service officers shot and killed an intruder at the residence of the Peruvian ambassador to the United States in Washington, authorities said
10:34AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Johnny Depp says he was demeaned, berated by Amber Heard
Actor Johnny Depp is back on the stand for testimony in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, a day after he denied her allegations of domestic abuse
10:29AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Russia pressures Mariupol as it focuses on Ukraine's east
Russian forces have pressured a stubborn pocket of resistance in Mariupol amid renewed hopes Wednesday for an evacuation of thousands of civilians from the shattered port city
10:29AM ( 21 minutes ago )