Wimbledon and British tennis have finally found some possible allies after being pummeled by the rest of the sport for 48 hours. The All England Club has been rocked by the nearly universal disapproval of their decision to ban Russian players from the game. On Thursday, though, there was some consolation from a variety of sources, including former Ukrainian star Alex Dolgopolov and possibly the Italian government.
Andy Murray and Wimbledon’s Decision
Wimbledon’s decision to prohibit Russian and Belarusian players is expected to be defended by Andy Murray. Following the invasion of Ukraine, the All England Club confirmed this week that players from both nations will be denied participation in this year’s competition.
Some tennis stars have blasted Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players, believing that individual athletes should not be held responsible for their country’s activities.
According to Corriere della Sera, the Italian government is considering intervening to prevent players from Russia and Belarus from competing in next month’s renowned Italian Open in Rome.
Wimbledon would be less isolated if the Italians made a move. It would almost certainly receive comparable criticism from those who have criticized SW19’s and the Lawn Tennis Association’s positions. Both the ATP and WTA Tours have spoken out against them, as have Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, and Novak Djokovic.
Word from Dolgopolov
However, Dolgopolov, a recently retired male Ukrainian player, defended Wimbledon yesterday by launching a stinging attack on Russian world No. 8 Andrey Rublev.
They should be permitted to compete with all prize money going to humanitarian help, according to the Russian player. Rublev appealed that he was an apolitical person and that they were being treated unfairly. Rublev was accused of ‘lying and hypocrisy’ by Dolgopolov, who tweeted: “This statement is a perfect example of why LTA decision is the right decision.”