News that Wimbledon would become the first tennis tournament not to allow Russian and Belarusian players access to London’s sacred grass spread through various media on Wednesday and was confirmed by the All England Club in the afternoon.
“We have considered alternative measures, but given the prestige of the tournament, the importance of not using sport as a promotion for the Russian regime and our wider concerns for the safety of players and audiences, we see no other outcome,” the statement said. organization in a statement.
“We recognize that this is hard on individual players. They are the victims of the leaders of the Russian regime.”
The organization leaves the door ajar in the hope that the war will be over before the start of the tournament. “If circumstances change between now and June, we will consider and respond appropriately.”
The number two in the men, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, among others, will miss Wimbledon due to this decision.
The same goes for Andrei Roeblev (ATP 8) and Belarusian Arina Sabalenka (WTA 4), last year’s semi-finalist at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon’s decision is not well received by ATP, the Association of Tennis Professionals. The body called the unilateral decision “unfair, with the potential for damaging sport”.
“Discrimination on the basis of nationality is a violation of the agreement we have with Wimbledon,” it said. “It is based entirely on the ATP ranking. Based on this decision, we are considering action.”
To be continued.