Russian and Belarusian tennis players will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this summer because of the conflict in Ukraine, according to reports.
Confirmation of the planned ban, will make Wimbledon the first individual tennis event to prevent Russian and Belarusian players from taking part because of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
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The Mail Online reports: The move has been made ahead of the tournament’s scheduled annual press conference next week, where the subject was bound to arise. The WTA and ATP Tours have been informed that a fair smattering of its top players will be barred from SW19.
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Sources high up in the game have confirmed to Sportsmail that the measures are imminent, with men’s world No 2 Daniil Medvedev the highest profile player to be affected.
According to a report in the New York Times both Russia and Belarus will be covered by the suspension, which means that women’s world No 4 Aryna Sabalenka is also out.
While it was always likely that, short of peace breaking out, there would be a ban, Wimbledon has acted a long way in advance of its start date of June 27 and perhaps earlier than expected.
Mindful of the shambles that unfolded immediately before this year’s Australian Open – which tried to finesse rules over unvaccinated players being allowed in such as Novak Djokovic – a clean break has been opted for.
Suggestions that players from the two countries might be made to publicly denounce the invasion always looked unworkable.
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