World No. 1 Swiatek wants united front in Russian, Belarusian ban

·2-min read
Iga Swiatek won the 2020 French Open (AFP/CHANDAN KHANNA) (CHANDAN KHANNA)

Iga Swiatek called on Wednesday for the governing bodies of tennis to unite in their decisions regarding the involvement of Russian and Belarusian players at tournaments, to avoid the "chaos" created by Wimbledon's unilateral move to ban them from this summer's Championships.

The world number one has been vocal in her support for Ukraine and has been wearing a ribbon with the country's colours during her matches.

Last week, Wimbledon announced Russian and Belarusian players were banned from this year's tournament due to the invasion of Ukraine.

"The situation is getting like more and more chaotic, I would say," Swiatek told reporters at the Madrid Open after announcing her withdrawal from the tournament due to a right shoulder injury.

"But I feel like it would be nice to have all these bodies making the proper decision so that we're not going to have that kind of chaos.

"I feel like people are expecting us players to make the decision, but it's pretty hard for us to make one because we know these people. We know each other. We are spending so much time on tour that it feels like we're family.

"For sure it's a tough situation and that's why I think the actual people who are responsible for making this decision, they should make one decision that is going to last."

Women's tour organisers the WTA and its men's counterpart, the ATP, criticised the move from the All England Club.

Swiatek did not state whether she believes Wimbledon's decision is correct or not and feels she is not qualified enough to weigh in on the matter in a definitive way.

"I don't know what decision is right, because honestly, I'm 20 and it's not like I'm saying that because I want to stay in a safe bubble. But honestly, I've never been involved in politics and it's not like I know everything.

"It's more like I still need to educate myself and I feel like I should educate myself a little bit more in that.

"So I can't tell what's the best decision that's for sure. Making some moves that are going to help stop the war a little bit would be better."


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