Wimbledon bans Russian and Belarusian players

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev will be among the big names who will miss out on Wimbledon 2022.

Wimbledon has banned Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 tournament in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which runs Wimbledon, said in a statement.

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

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev will be among the big names who will miss out on Wimbledon 2022. Along with Medvedev, World No. 8 Andrey Rublev will also miss out on the Wimbledon men’s singles event this year. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is 15th in the women’s rankings, will miss out on the women’s singles event at Wimbledon. Women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka and two-times Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will be affected.

“Given the profile of The Championships 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‚Äôs global influence through the strongest means possible,” read the statement.

The decision was swiftly condemned by the men’s and women’s tours as well as American great Martina Navratilova.

The ATP, which governs men’s tennis, said the “unilateral decision” by Wimbledon to exclude players from Russia and Belarus 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.

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 penalised 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.

Navratilova, who won Wimbledon a record nine times between 1978 and 1990, called the move “the wrong decision”.

“Exclusion like this, through no fault of these players, is not the way to go,” she told LBC Radio.