Sports Ukraine-Russia War

Sabalenka slams Wimbledon’s ban on Russia and Belarus players claim it change nothing about the war in Ukraine

Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players last year was unjust and changed nothing regarding the war in Ukraine, Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka has said.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) barred players from bothcountries from appearing at SW19 – a decision that saw the organisation fined by the ATP last month.

“This is really terrible because no one supports war – no one,” Sabalenka told Australian paper The Age. “I’m just really disappointed sport is somehow in politics.”

“We’re just athletes playing their sport. That’s it. We’re not about politics. If all of us could do something [about the war], we would do it. But we have zero control,” she added

Wimbledon was subsequently fined by the ATP and WTA for the move, while the event also had its ranking points stripped, due to its decision to disinvite several top players.

And ahead of the first Grand Slam event of the new year, the Australian Open which begins in just over two weeks’ time, Sabalenka says that she feels sport and politics should be kept firmly apart.

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