Wimbledon to Ban Russian and Belarusian Tennis Players

The move would prevent Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev from competing in the men’s draw of the Grand Slam tournament.

2021 US Open Champion winner

Russian and Belorussian tennis stars will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this summer because of the conflict in Ukraine.

A decision has been reached to prevent Russians and Belorusians from competing at the grass court showpiece, which gets underway on June 27 and runs until July 10.

Should it indeed be imposed, the ban would make Wimbledon the first individual tennis event to bar Russian and Belarusian players from appearing because of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Djokovic comments on ‘crazy’ Wimbledon ban on Russian players

The world’s number-one tennis player responded after the Grand Slam barred Russian and Belarusian players.

Novak Djokovic has described Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players as “crazy” as he spoke out against the interference of politics in sport.

Wimbledon organizers confirmed on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian stars would not be invited to this year’s Grand Slam because of the conflict in Ukraine.

The decision means the likes of Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian women’s star Aryna Sabalenka – ranked number four in the world – are set to miss the grass court showpiece when it gets underway towards the end of June.

Responding to the news, Djokovic said he firmly opposed the step.

I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” Djokovic was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the Serbia Open.

“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.

Nevertheless, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good,” the Serb added.

Djokovic was part of a much broader backlash in tennis against the step by Wimbledon.

Men’s tour ATP savaged the ban, saying it was “unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.”

The women’s WTA tour was similarly critical, calling the decision “neither fair nor justified.”

The WTA and ATP have both allowed Russian and Belarusian players to continue to compete as neutrals at tour events in the wake of the Ukraine military offensive by Moscow.