Wimbledon defends ban on Russian, Belarusian players

STORY: The move is the first time players have been banned on the grounds of nationality since the immediate post-World War Two era when German and Japanese players were excluded.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) took the decision in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the stand was swiftly condemned by the men's and women's tours.

Wimbledon is also the first tennis tournament to ban individual competitors from the two countries, meaning men's world number two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and women's fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will be banned from the June 27-July 10 tournament.

Tennis governing bodies have banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion, but allowed players from the two countries to continue competing as neutrals.

AELTC also confirmed that COVID-19 vaccination will not be mandatory for players at the 2022 tournament, which will allow Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic to defend his title.

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