Tennis player Sabalenka criticizes the exclusion of Russians and Belarusians from Wimbledon – RT in French

For Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka, the exclusion of her compatriots and Russians from the Wimbledon tournament for political reasons is counterproductive. She hopes for a change of course in 2023.

World number 5 Aryna Sabalenka said on January 1 that the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon last year, due to the conflict in Ukraine, had been useless and that she “really hoped” for a change. heading in 2023.

“I’m just really disappointed that sport is getting political in one way or another. We are just athletes practicing their sport. That’s all. We don’t play politics,” she told the Melbourne Age newspaper on the sidelines of the Adelaide tournament.

“If we could all do something we would do it, but we have no control,” said the 24-year-old. “They banned us from Wimbledon, and what difference did that make? Nothing, they keep doing this [guerre]and that’s what’s sad about this situation,” she said.

Political interference in sport

Following the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2022, denounced by kyiv and the West as a war of invasion, the British Tennis Federation (LTA) had come under pressure from the government to impose a ban.

Russian and Belarus players, including Aryna Sabalenka, were eventually kicked out of Wimbledon. In the process, the ATP and the WTA, which govern the men’s and women’s circuits, replied that this 2022 edition of the Grand Slam tournament would not bring points in the standings. At this time, the LTA has not yet announced whether the ban will continue for 2023.

Sabalenka, Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2021, assures that “no one supports war” and that she hopes to be able to participate in the London Grand Slam in 2023 “to feel this atmosphere”.

Discrimination in several competitions

Other players excluded from Wimbledon last June included Andrey Rublev, Victoria Azarenka and Daniil Medvedev.

The latter told the press on January 1 that he would have preferred to play the United Cup, a mixed team event, rather than the Adelaide tournament, but he said he understood the situation and intended to make the best of it. of this event marking the start of the ATP and WTA season.

The world number 7 and his compatriots cannot participate in the United Cup, which takes place in several cities in Australia, due to the ban put in place against them. “We would definitely be strong favourites. But that’s how it is, and I’m happy to be here in Adelaide,” he added.

“I completely understand why we don’t play the Davis Cup or the United Cup and the team competitions where we would represent our country,” he said. “I play what I can play, so here I can play in Adelaide, and I’m really happy about that. I want to show my best tennis,” said the 26-year-old.


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