All England clubs stand by a ban on players in Russia and Belarus

The president of the All England Club upheld the decision to expel Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon, saying “there is no viable alternative.”

Ian Hewitt commented in an interview with ESPN on Sunday the night before the championship. The April AEC decision was in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This decision prevented Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, the world’s No. 1 and No. 8 men, and Arina Sabalenka, the world’s No. 6 women, from participating in Grand Slam events.

Hewitt said the AEC followed the guidance of the British government, otherwise it was “wrong.”

“One was a route to consider personal declarations from players. Frankly, I didn’t think it was the right approach for our kind of tournament. We’re players He was willing to put his safety at risk, and he believed that the route would affect the safety of his players and his family, leaving no other viable option, “Hewitt told ESPN. Told.

Hewitt added that the AEC does not want Russia to use Wimbledon as a “propaganda machine.”

“So, as a result of the combination of reasons, we had no viable option other than decline the entry,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said he was “extremely disappointed” that ATP and the WTA chose to remove ranking points from Wimbledon. The decision was made after the ATP and WTA expressed disappointment with the ban.

“I believe this is a disproportionate approach and frankly undermines the interests of the majority of players. I regret the ATP and WTA decisions,” Hewitt said. “We respect the disagreements, but wanted to work differently for the benefit of the players, but when it comes to our decisions, we certainly support our decisions. . “

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