Tennis players from Russia and Belarus can take part in the ATP, WTA tour; excluded from team events

In a joint statement, the ATP and WTA condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and banned the country and Belarus from team events. However, players from either country can still compete at the Tour level, but not under the flag name.

Russian players can still compete on the tour but not under the country’s flag name (AFP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ATP and WTA condemned Russia’s “act of aggression” against Ukraine
  • Russian players banned from team competitions, ITF suspends tennis federation
  • Russian players can compete on the tour, but not under the national flag name

The governing body for men’s and women’s tennis, the ATP and the WTA, said on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian players can no longer participate in team competitions, including the prestigious Davis Cup, as they condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and announced sanctions.

However, Russian and Belarusian players are allowed to participate in the tour, including Grand Slam tournaments, but not under their countries’ names or flags.

“The WTA and ATP Boards have also made the decision to suspend the combined WTA/ATP event scheduled for this October in Moscow. The ITF Executive Board has taken the decision to suspend the membership of the Russian Tennis Federation and the Belarusian Tennis Federation,” it said in a statement.

The decision comes after Russia invaded Ukraine. “The international governing bodies of tennis are unanimous in our condemnation of Russia’s actions.” The ATP and the WTA announced this in a joint statement.

The ATP and WTA also praised the tennis players, who condemned the “unacceptable act of aggression” against Ukraine. Especially Russian tennis stars Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev spoke out against the war when he took part in the tour in Mexico and Dubai last month.

“Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, a deep sense of despair, shock and sadness was felt throughout the tennis community.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We join their calls for an end to the violence and the return of peace,” the tennis federations said in the statement.

It is unclear whether Russia can compete in the lucrative team-based ATP Cup in Australia. Russia reached the semi-finals of the 2022 event in January and won the 2021 tournament.

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