Wimbledon’s Russia ban faces difficult battle


WTA president Steve Simon warned Wimbledon that they face “strong reactions” to their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players and the week ahead could see more twists in the controversy which has split tennis. The All England Club (AELTC) said they had decided to bar the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the AELTC will hold its annual Wimbledon event launch where the saga will dominate the agenda. Meanwhile, ATP and WTA officials are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Madrid Open from next week to discuss their response to the crisis.

As the Grand Slam tournaments are autonomous, possible sanctions by the ATP and the WTA could include a refusal to award ranking points at the June 27-July 10 Grand Slam tournament.

That could reduce Wimbledon to the status of a high-profile exhibition event. The ATP does not seem inclined to take legal action, while according to French daily L’Equipe, which obtained an email sent by the WTA to its players, the body is studying “the actions that you (the players) could take according to the Grand Slam regulations”.—AFP


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