The world’s No. 2, Daniil Medvedev, will be one of the big names to miss Wimbledon 2022 after the grassroots Grand Slam organizers confirmed on Wednesday that Russia and Belarus players will be banned from the prestigious event after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This is the first time since World War II that Wimbledon has banned players from any country. Players from Germany and Japan were not allowed to participate during the war.
Along with Medvedev, the world No. 8 Andrey Rublev will also miss this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles event. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is 15th in the women’s standings, will miss the women’s singles at Wimbledon.
World number four Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will be hit.
Medvedev won the US Open last year and reached the final at the Australian Open earlier this year. The in-form star, who had spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine, had reached the number 1 spot in men’s singles earlier this year.
Earlier this month, the AELTC said it was in talks with the British government about the participation of players from Russia and Belarus in the Grand Slam on the grass court.
“We recognize that this is hard on the affected individuals, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime,” AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said in a statement.
Hewitt said the AELTC has “carefully considered” alternative measures that could be taken within UK government guidelines.
“But given the prominent environment of the Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our wider concerns for the safety of the public and player (including family), we do not believe that it is viable to move on to another base,” he said.
Organizers had previously scheduled to announce a decision in mid-May, ahead of the entry deadline for the June 27 – July 10 event.
Earlier, Ukrainian players Elina Svitolina and Marta Kostyuk made statements calling for a general ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from international events.
Tennis governing bodies had banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions after the invasion.
Individual players are contractors and many do not live in their native countries. Russian and Belarusian players were allowed to participate in tours, but not under their country’s name or flag. Read the full story
The president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, previously told the country’s Sport Express newspaper that it could do nothing.
“I think this decision is wrong, but there is nothing we can change,” Tarpischev said. “The (Russian) Tennis Federation has already done everything it could.
“I don’t want to talk about this, but I will say that this decision is against the athletes… We are working on the situation, that’s all I can say.”