It’s because of the “unjustified and unprecedented military aggression” in Ukraine that tennis officials don’t let Russians and Belarusians play at Wimbledon this year,
Tennis tournaments in the United Kingdom have to follow government rules about sporting events. The All England Lawn Tennis Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships said Wednesday that they made the decision based on that advice and after taking into account their responsibilities to their players, their community, and everyone else in Britain.
There is a high level of attention paid to this year’s Olympics in the United Kingdom and around the world, so it’s their job to help limit Russia’s global power “through the strongest means possible,” they said in a letter.
It’s set to happen in London from June 27 to July 10. Wimbledon is one of the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments. Organizers said in their statement that “if things change significantly” before then, they will think about and act accordingly.
Sports industry site Sportico first broke the news on Tuesday, and British media outlets like the Guardian and BBC said an announcement was coming soon.
Also on Wednesday, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced that it is joining the AELTC in banning Russian and Belarusian players from competing at its events so that British tennis can have “a consistent approach across all events over the course of the summer.”
It makes Wimbledon the first tennis tournament to ban players from both countries since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. It also leaves out some of the best players in the world.
There are also men’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev is from Russia, and he is the fourth-best player in the world for women. Aryna Sabalenka is from Belarus. There are four Russian men in the top 30 (two in the top 10), and two Belarusian women in the top 20.
Tennis has had some consequences for Russia and Belarus.
People from Russia and Belarus can still play on the ATP and WTA tours, but they can’t play under their countries’ flags. They can also sign up to compete at the French Open, which starts on May 22.
Tennis has not liked them in other ways. There were two team events where Russia couldn’t defend its titles: the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, which took place last week and saw the US win.
When there was a tie, Ukraine came out on top. All of the tennis events that were supposed to happen in Russia this fall have been canceled by the WTA and the ATP.
Those in favor of the ban say it would send a strong message.
The AELTC had been talking with the British government about whether to let Russian and Belarusian athletes compete in Wimbledon, which is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and is widely regarded as one of the most important in the world.
It should not be allowed for anyone who flies the Russian flag to play in it, the UK’s sports minister said last month.
That’s not all. I think it needs to go even further,
I think we need to be sure that they aren’t fans of Vladimir Putin, and we’re thinking about what we might need to get that assurance. As a whole, would I be okay with a Russian athlete wearing the Russian flag? No.”
Several Ukrainian players, both past and present, have also called for a ban. She told the New York Times that “it can’t just be sanctions against 90 percent of Russian people and 10 percent not.” Olga Savchuk, the captain of Ukraine’s Billie Jean King Cup team, said that. “It has to be even, and I think that everyone is to blame,” she said.
Some people say that athletes should not have to pay for what their governments do.
However, not everyone agrees. People who work for the WTA should not be punished because of decisions made by “authoritarian leaders.” Steve Simon, the WTA’s CEO, said that last month.
That’s what he said. The WTA has never before banned athletes from competing on its tour because of their country’s political views, and it would be very hard for that to change.
So, I hope that we keep up with the sanctions, but again, these people are the innocent victims of this, and I don’t think it’s fair for them to be isolated because of this.
The LTA said in its Wednesday announcement that individual athletes may not agree with the actions of their governments. But the LTA said it thinks it’s important to do everything possible to help Ukraine and that the ban has the support of the British people.
After a lot of thought, the LTA thinks tennis should join many other areas of sport and public life in sending a clear message to the Russian and Belarusian states that their actions in Ukraine are not welcome around the world.
They added: “The continued presence of Russian and Belarusian nationals at events could give these regimes a boost when there is an unprecedented international effort to isolate them and punish their actions.” This is what they said.
It was only a day after Russia first invaded that Andrey Rublev wrote “no war, please” on one of the cameras at the court. One of the best tennis players in Russia, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, spoke out about the war in a tweet that has since been taken down. She said that “personal ambitions or political motives cannot justify violence.”