Russia and Belarus won't be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year. The decision was made Wednesday. The third Slam of the year became the first to ban players from those countries in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The All England Club made the decision to limit Russia's global influence through the strongest means possible in the circumstances of military aggression.
The men and women are not allowed to play. This is how Wimbledon came to this decision.
The men's and women's singles draws at Wimbledon are affected by this. On the men's side, it prevents the Australian Open finalist and No. 2 from competing. Ivashka is the top-ranked man on the men's side.
Five of the top 40 are affected. All of Russia will not be participating in this year's competition. The decision prevents both Aryna and Victoria from competing.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the various tennis tours announced on March 1 that they would allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete in their tournaments, but without any reference to their nationalities. The flag of the country would not be next to the name of the player, nor would the national anthem be played.
Russia and Belarus were banned from team events.
The stance has been the same for the Slams and tournaments. Wimbledon has taken a firm stance because of the pressure from politicians. In March, the sports minister suggested that players should only be allowed to compete if they denounced Putin.
No one should be allowed to fly the flag for Russia and we need assurances that they are not supporters of Putin.
The players and their families were worried that this would put them in danger.
Steve Lloyd, the chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, said that discussions were ongoing. We are trying to figure out what the summer events in Britain need to look like.
The announcement Wednesday came after lengthy discussions between the LTA and the government. The call over whether to allow Russians or Belarusians to compete was complex and challenging, and the decision would be made before the entry deadline in May.
The news of the decision began to be reported on Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday morning, those reports had reached the Kremlin.
The decision was made with deep regret and was extended to all grass-court events this summer in the U.K.
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, said that they recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.
If circumstances change between now and June, we will respond accordingly.
The All England Club made an announcement Wednesday that was disagreeing with the statements issued by the ATP and WTA.
The decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year's British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game. It is important to point out that players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
A fundamental principle of the WTA is that individual athletes may participate in professional tennis events based on merit and without any form of discrimination. The decisions made by the governments of their countries should not prevent individual athletes from competing.
The statement concluded, "The WTA will be evaluating its next steps and what actions may be taken regarding these decisions."
The men's and women's side tournaments that were to take place in Moscow later this year have been canceled. The Russian Tennis Federation has been suspended by the ITF.
The French Open starts May 22. Russian and Belarusians are likely to be allowed to compete at the French Open under the terms of national neutrality.
The director general of the French Tennis Federation said in March that they don't intend to go into the details of personal and individual situations. Individual athletes are not banned in competition if they are selected to represent their countries. In tennis, players are allowed to participate in tournaments on the basis of their ranking.
The US Open has adopted a similar stance.
Rublev made international headlines when he wrote on a TV camera "no war please" at the Dubai Tennis Championships. In March, at Indian Wells in California, he said: "I don't have any response to Wimbledon." Everyone knows what's happening, so it's impossible to ignore it, but I always said that everyone has different opinions on different things in the world. I said I was for peace. It is difficult to talk about what is fair and not fair. I have my own opinions on certain topics, but I prefer to speak about them with my family, where we can sometimes disagree, but we can discuss.
The captain of the Ukrainian team that played against the USA in the Billie Jean King Cup supports the ban. Look at our families. People are dying. There are women and children. Russian tennis players have to feel uncomfortable.
In a statement on Wednesday, the world No. 49 called on the tennis governing bodies to ask any Russian or Belarusian players if they support Putin or Lukashenko. If applicable, we demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any international event, as Wimbledon has already done. There is a time when silence is betrayal.
Additional reporting by Kathleen.