On Wednesday, Wimbledon announced a ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis stars from this year’s championship due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The All England Lawn tennis Club’s decision has attracted a lot of criticism from tennis fans and athletes around the world. Recently, Novak Djokovic condemned Wimbledon’s decision during a press conference after a hard-fought win over fellow Serbian Laslo Djere.
As a result of Wimbledon’s decision, three top-ten ranked male and female tennis stars, including Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, are set to miss out on the third Grand Slam of the year. Moreover, there is a long list of players who will miss the most important tennis tournaments in the world.
Wimbledon’s ban is the first instance since World War-2 where players have been banned based on their nationality. Earlier, German and Japanese players were barred from the tournament during the post-World War-II era. Meanwhile, World No. 1 Nole called Wilmbledon’s decision “crazy” and told the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing war.
Djokovic Slams Wimbledon For The Recent Ban
Novak Djokovic defended his fellow Russian and Belarusian co-players and criticized Wimbledon’s recent ban. Speaking to journalist Sasa Ozmo, Nole said that he will always condemn the war. Unfortunately, Novak has grown up in war-torn Serbia and understands the traumatic effects of the violence.
The 20-time Grand Slam champ reminded everyone of Serbia’s situation in 1999 and the many wars that the Balkans have been dealing with in recent years. However, Djokovic said that he could not support the ban as everything that is happening is not the athletes’ fault. Moreover, the 34-year-old pointed out that interferences from politics can never be good for the sport. Novak Djokovic added, “I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon. I think it is crazy.”
Elina Svitolina Defends Wimbledon’s Decision
Wimbledon’s decision to ban players on the basis of their nationality has been criticized by the ATP and WTA tours. The All England Club clarified that they would “consider and respond accordingly”. The final call will depend on the war situation between now and June. But on Thursday, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina defended Wimbledon’s decision. She said that if players do not stand up against the Russian government’s decision, banning them is the right thing.
Elina added that if the players did not choose or vote for the government, then it would be fair to let them participate and compete. In addition, the Ukrainian tennis star shared, “We just want them to speak up, if they are with us and the rest of the world or the Russian government. This is for me the main point.”