Russia’s Wimbledon ban ‘triggered by fears the Royal Family will see Daniil Medvedev win the trophy’
The All England Club is reportedly moving forward with plans to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from Wimbledon, with the Royal Family playing a significant role in the decision.
The decision to ban Russian and Belarusian competitors from Wimbledon was reportedly taken to protect the royal family.
It is customary for the Queen or another member of the family to present the champions with their titles on the weekend of the finals at SW19. However, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine – in which Belarus also contributed to the siege – has made the attendance of some athletes a controversial topic.
The decision to ban individuals has now been made official, meaning the likes of world number 2 Daniil Medvedev will not be able to compete. The Russian has been considered one of the favorites to win in London, with the tournament due to start on June 27.
Fellow countryman Andrey Rublev – who scrawled “No war please” on a camera lens in Dubai in February – would also be barred from taking part. In the women’s draw, world No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka are among those on the verge of missing out.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said in March that for athletes from the countries in question to compete in the UK they must demonstrate that they are “independent and neutral – and sincere”. Associated Athletes have been encouraged to publicly denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, although this may pose risks to the athletes’ loved ones.
Rather than run with the possibility of a Russian or Belarusian player lifting their respective trophy alongside the royal family, Wimbledon organizers sought to dodge the issue altogether, Sportsmail reported. The move comes shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the “battle for Donbass” had begun.
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The United Nations reported on Tuesday that the death toll among Ukrainian civilians since the war began on February 24 is estimated at more than 2,000. However, the real figure is believed to be much higher, the siege in the territories from the east, north and south making it difficult to determine the exact figures.
Medvedev, 26, sealed his first major when he won the US Open title last year, having also won the ATP Tour Finals in 2020. The Russian has long been touted as a leader potential of the “next generation” after Novak Djokovic. , Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer leave the sport.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was on Center Court when Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini to win Wimbledon last year and was later pictured with the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The All England Tennis Club appears to have acted well in advance to ensure that neither Russian nor Belarus suitors receive the same honour.