Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete in the US Open this year, but only as neutrals, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced on Tuesday, a decision that would completely ban them from Wimbledon.
Wimbledon’s move to ban them from the tournament, which starts later this month, has prompted the men’s ATP and women’s WTA tour to snatch Grasscourt Grand Slam ranking points.
Wimbledon’s decision barred players such as men’s world number one Daniel Medvedev from Russia from playing at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), but the USTA said Russian and Belarusian players would be welcomed at Flushing Meadows.
“The ITF, ATP and WTA, along with the USTA, which owns and operates the US Open, have previously condemned and continue to condemn Russia’s unwarranted and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” the USTA said. .
“The USTA supported the banning of the Russian and Belarusian tennis federations from the ITF, and therefore instructed all international teams to play under a neutral flag when competing outside the international team competition.”
The USTA decision would allow Medvedev to defend his first Grand Slam title when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final last year, denying Serb a calendar year Grand Slam.
ELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said in April that British government guidelines did not allow players to compete at Wimbledon based on their rankings.
He said there were two options available – denying entry, or allowing entry but only with specific written announcements from individual players, who made “the most responsible decision possible in the situation”.
“We acknowledge that each organization has had to deal with unique situations that affect its decisions,” USTA added.
“Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players to compete in the 2022 US Open, regardless of nationality.”
Players from Russia and Belarus were also allowed to play in the French Open.
Following the attack, the ATP and WTA themselves banned Russia and Belarus from international team competition, which Moscow called a “special operation,” but allowed players from both countries to compete as neutrals.
“You can’t set a price tag to be able to live with yourself”
I’m hi Wimbledon The only entity that has a moral code. 3
– Sergei Stakhovsky (stako_tennis) June 14, 2022
Ukrainian player Sergei Stakhovsky condemned the decision, writing on Twitter: “You can’t put a price tag on being able to live with yourself. I salute Wimbledon, the only entity that has a code of ethics. “
The main draw of the US Open will start on August 29.
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