Wimbledon organizers announced Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I will always condemn the war, I will never support the war, because I myself am a child of war,” declared the number 1 in the world. 1 told journalists about this at the Serbia Open.
“I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. We all in Serbia know what happened in 1999. There have been many wars in the Balkans in recent history,” he told reporters.
“However, I cannot support Wimbledon’s decision, I consider it insane. When politics interferes in sports, the result is not good.”
Wimbledon on Wednesday announced and defended its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament.
“Given the profile of the championships in the UK and around the world, we have a responsibility to play our part in the wide-ranging efforts of government, industry, sports and the arts to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest possible means,” the statement said. This is stated in a statement by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
“In the context of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the participation of Russian or Belarusian players in the Championship.
“Therefore, we intend, with deep regret, to reject the applications of Russian and Belarusian players for the 2022 championship,” the message says.
Earlier Wednesday, the Kremlin said the ban on Russian players from Wimbledon as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “unacceptable.”
The ban on Russian players will prevent several high-profile players from competing in the iconic grass court Grand Slam.
Russia has five women in the top 40 of the WTA Tour rankings.
Belarusian Arina Sobolenko is currently ranked fourth in the world and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, while compatriot Victoria Azarenka is a former world number one. 1, currently ranked No. 1. 18.
The AELTC decision is the first time that Russian and Belarusian players have been banned from participating in an elite tennis tournament.