A Russian-born female tennis player has changed her nationality to avoid a Wimbledon ban on all Russian players in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
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The All England Club announced in April that it was banning Russian and Belarusian tennis players from competing at Wimbledon, recognizing it as the first tennis event to prevent individual athletes from competing.
“Depending on the profile of the United Kingdom and the world championships, it is our responsibility to play our part in a broader effort by the government, industry, sports and creative organizations to limit Russia’s global influence in the strongest possible ways,” the All England Club said in a statement. “Under such unjust and unprecedented military aggression, it would not be acceptable for the Russian regime to reap any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian athletes in participating in championships.”
The WTA and ATP professional tennis tours have responded by banning the All England Club from announcing that they will not give any players ranking points for results at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon starts on June 27.
Contribution: Associated Press