Wimbledon is set to make a massive call with huge consequences for players from Russia and Belarus at the prestigious grand slam.
Wimbledon is set to announce a ban on players from Russia and Belarus from competing in this year’s grand slam because of because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ support of the war.
The ban would make Wimbledon the first tennis tournament to bar individual Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.
Tennis authorities were quick to bar players from Russia and Belarus from competing in team events such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup after the war began earlier this year.
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Players from those two countries have been allowed to play in ATP and WTA events but their national flags have not been shown on scoreboards and graphics.
The New York Times reports Wimbledon officials are expected to announce the decision in the coming days.
Several top players are now set to miss the prestigious third grand slam of the year, which begins in late June.
Russia’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev would be the highest profile player to miss Wimbledon as a result of the ban.
He is the reigning US Open champion, made the final of the Australian Open and briefly took the World No. 1 ranking off Novak Djokovic earlier this year.
There are currently three other Russian men ranked in the top 30 who would also be banned from Wimbledon — world No. 8 Andrey Rublev, world No. 25 Karen Khachanov and world No. 30 Aslan Karatsev.
On the women’s side, there are five Russians in the top 40 of the WTA rankings — Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (world No.15), Daria Kasatkina (No. 26) and Veronika Kudermetova (No. 29) and Ludmilla Samsonova (No. 31).
Former world No. 1 and two-time Australian Open Victoria Azarenka is from Belarus would be banned.
Her compatriots — world No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka, who made the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, and world No.49 Aliaksandra Sasnovich — would also not be allowed to compete.