All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt explained Wimbledon’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus on Monday.
The decision to institute a ban was made in April, shortly after Ukraine was invaded by Russia. Hewitt said the All England Club made a stand that was “beyond the interests of tennis alone.”
“It was very important to us that Wimbledon, given the profile that we have, should not be used in any way, by the propaganda machine which we know the Russian government employs in relation to its own people,” Hewitt told ESPN.
“We were left with no viable alternative other than to decline entries. We hugely regret the impact on the individual players affected, but we also hugely regret the impact on so many innocent people which the tragic situation in Ukraine has caused.”
A number of top players were impacted by the All England Club’s decision. Men’s world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev are not competing at Wimbledon, nor are women’s No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 13 Daria Kasatkina.
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