Sports Reports: Russian and Belarusian tennis players to be banned...

Reports: Russian and Belarusian tennis players to be banned from competing in Wimbledon

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Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be banned from competing in Wimbledon because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ support of the ongoing war, according to The New York Times and other reports.

The ban, which will be announced by tournament officials, will make Wimbledon the first tennis event to bar individual athletes from competing. Wimbledon is scheduled to start June 27.

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The decision would impact many highly-ranked players, including No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (Russia) and No. 8 Andrey Rublev (Russia) in the men’s field and No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) in the women’s field. No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) and No. 18 Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) would also be among those excluded in the women’s field.

“The Kremlin considers the removal of Russian athletes from Wimbledon unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday via the Washington Post. “(The players) are again being made the hostages of political intrigues.”

When the war started in February, team events such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup banned the Russian and Belarusian tennis federations, but players from these countries could compete individually without national identification. The French Open begins May 22 and it will allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitteranalisbailey.



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