Djokovic, ATP, WTA slam Wimbledon ban on Russian, Belarusian players

Most Commented Posts


Tennis men’s world No.1 Novak Djokovic has criticized Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, calling the decision “crazy.”

Wimbledon announced Wednesday that it had barred all Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s championships due to the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation.”

The grasscourt Grand Slam is the first tennis tournament to ban individual competitors from the two countries, meaning men’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev from Russia and women’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will be banned from the June 27-July 10 tournament.

Djokovic, who grew up in war-torn Serbia, said the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict.

“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” Djokovic told reporters at the Serbia Open, an ATP 250 event in Belgrade.

“I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia, we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history.

“However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy.

“When politics interfere with sport, the result is not good.”

The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s (AELTC) decision has also been criticized by the ATP and WTA tours.

ATP, WTA slams decision

The ATP, which governs men’s tennis, said the “unilateral decision” by Wimbledon was “unfair” and could potentially set a damaging precedent for the game.

“Discrimination based on nationality also constitutes a violation of our agreement with Wimbledon that states that player entry is based solely on ATP Rankings,” the men’s governing body said.

“Any course of action in response to this decision will now be assessed in consultation with our board and member councils.”

The Women’s Tennis Association said it is “very disappointed” with the decision and was now “evaluating its next steps and what actions may be taken regarding these decisions”.

“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,” said the WTA.

“Discrimination, and the decision to focus such discrimination against athletes competing on their own as individuals, is neither fair nor justified,” the body added.

Both tennis governing bodies had banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion, but allowed players from the two countries to continue competing on their respective tours as neutrals.

The move is the first time players have been banned on the grounds of nationality since the immediate post-World War II era when German and Japanese players were excluded.

The AELTC said it would “consider and respond accordingly” if circumstances change between now and June.

The Daily Sabah Newsletter

Keep up to date with what’s happening in Turkey,
it’s region and the world.


You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.



Source link

Most Commented Posts

Related Posts