London, Apr 20 (EFE).- Wimbledon organizers are set to announce a ban on Russian and Belarussian tennis players from the iconic tournament.
The ban will exclude world number two Daniil Medvedev from participating in the British tournament as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The United Kingdom’s sports minister, Nigel Huddleston, had requested Russian tennis players on several occasions to declare their independence from president Vladimir Putin in writing and said that any pro-Kremlin gesture at the sports event should be avoided.
Wimbledon will become the first major tournament to ban individual athletes from participating, after Russia was expelled from the World Cup in Qatar and other team tennis competitions including the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup.
The third Grand Slam of the season will go ahead without Medvedev, the second best tennis player in the world, Andrey Rublev, number 8 in the ranking, Karen Khachanov (26) and Aslan Karatsev (30).
As for the female tennis players who will miss Wimbledon this year, Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (15) and Daria Kasatkina (26) stand out, as well as Aryna Sabalenka, ranked No. 4 and semifinalist in 2021, and Victoria Azarenka (18) both from Belarus.
This will be the first time Wimbledon has barred people from a specific country since the post war years after World War II, when German and Japanese players were banned from the London Grand Slam. EFE