The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club which runs Wimbledon, one of the four grand slams in tennis, has released a statement regarding the participation of players from Russia and Belarus at this year’s tournament.
Players from Russia and Belarus have been banned from the Wimbledon Championships and every other grass-court tournament set to be played in the United Kingdom.
“Given the profile of The Championships (Wimbledon) in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.
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.
It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022.”
The most notable players affected are men’s world number 2, Daniil Medvedev (Russia), women’s world number 4, Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus), and women’s world number 18, Victoria Azarenka (Belarus).
The Russian Government was quick to respond stating:
“Given that Russia is a strong tennis country and our athletes possess top lines of the world rating, the tournament itself would suffer because of this ban. It is unacceptable to make the athletes once again hostages of certain political prejudice, intrigues and hostile actions towards our country.”
Wimbledon, first played in 1877, is the world’s oldest tennis tournament. This year’s edition is set to be played from June 27 to July 10.