May 27, 2022

Wimbledon to bar Russian players due to invasion of Ukraine


The start of the 2022 edition of Wimbledon is just over two months away. For a handful of some of the world’s greatest tennis players, it doesn’t look like they’ll be allowed to take part in the Grand Slam event due to a devastating war that’s been raging for nearly two months now.

Sportico first reported on Tuesday night that Russian athletes would be banned from competition this summer because of their country’s invasion of Ukraine. ESPN had a follow-up report on Wednesday morning.

“A ban on Russian players would prevent world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev from competing in the men’s draw. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is 15th in the women’s rankings,” the report reads. “Sportico, which first reported  on the planned Russian ban Tuesday, said it was unclear whether players from Belarus would also be barred, while The New York Times reported that Belarusian players would not be allowed to compete. Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation.”

Rublev made headlines in February when, following a victory in the Dubai Championships semifinals, he wrote “No war please” on a camera.

The fourth-ranked women’s player is Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, while Victoria Azarenka is also from Belarus and is ranked No. 18. Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete at the French Open, which begins May 22, but as neutral athletes.