Last year’s Wimbledon was the only tournament where tennis players from countries participating in the armed invasion of Ukraine were not allowed. The result was the decision by the WTA and ATP Games authorities not to award ranking points for results obtained on London turf. This year, the organizers of the event decided that the Russians and Belarusians would be able to play as neutral players.
The London 2022 event is the first tournament to exclude tennis players on the basis of nationality immediately since World War II, when Germans, Japanese and Italians were not allowed to compete.
Świątek on sports as a tool for propaganda
– I think this kind of action will show the Russian government that maybe it’s not worth it … We are just athletes, a small part of the world, but sport is very important and has always been used for propaganda … Tennis from the very beginning can do More, and he behaves a little better, showing everyone that he is against war.
“Tennis has never been this way and now it would be completely unfair to players from Russia and Belarus, because this decision should have been made a year ago.”
Tennis players from both countries have played in other Grand Slam events, but as neutral players, since that was the decision of the world federations of the ITF, WTA and ATP.
Sabalenka Doesn’t Understand “Hate”
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who won this year’s Australian Open, said she finds it hard to understand the “hatred” she experiences in the tennis locker rooms.
Schwijk described the atmosphere outside the court as “very tense”.
– It is not their fault that they have such or other passport … Their situation is very complicated and it is difficult for them to talk about some things out loud, – the 21-year-old Polish woman remarked.
On the one hand, we all have some influence, and anything that will help stop Russian aggression should be used. And I concluded that the Union’s decisions should go in this direction.
Source: Eurosport.pl, BBC, PAP
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