Sport

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev ready to ban Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON are poised to ban world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev from this summer’s tournament over fears a win could bolster Vladimir Putin amid the war in Ukraine.

The All England Club has been told its independent status away from the main tennis tours can issue bans on Russian and Belarusian stars who don’t denounce Putin – and face no legal consequences.

Russia's world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev may be forced to sit out Wimbledon due to his country's war with Ukraine

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Russia’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev may be forced to sit out Wimbledon due to his country’s war with UkraineCredit: AP

The ATP, WTA and ITF tours have allowed players from these countries to continue to compete but without the national flag.

The country has been suspended from the team tennis tournaments, the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, of which they are reigning champions in both.

The recent unveiling of shocking war crimes images in Kyiv has escalated calls for a Wimbledon ban on Russians and Belarusians.

And the potential prospect of Medvedev, 26, holding up the trophy could be seen as a win for Russia and the Putin regime.

Russians must sign forms to distance themselves from Putin in order to play Wimbledon
Medvedev blames shock loss on'garbage balls', misses No. 1 point shot

The US Open champion, whose best result at Wimbledon was reaching the fourth round in 2021, has so far kept quiet about his stance – public condemnation of Putin’s war on Ukraine carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years for Russians.

As reported by The Telegraph, an AELTC spokesman said: “Private member clubs have more freedom over who they allow entry or not, so they would not be subject to the same discrimination laws as the tours.

“When you manage the main tennis tour you have the freedom to suspend players – if they are found guilty of match-fixing or doping, for example – but you must be able to show that this practice is reasonable.

“In this case, Russian players could argue that if the tours took vigorous action, they would be prevented from earning a living through no fault of their own. For Wimbledon, however, that is not such a big problem.

Wimbledon must make a final decision next month, with the registration deadline set for mid-May.

The main draws begin on June 27th.

Other grass court events such as Queen’s, Eastbourne and Birmingham may not be able to enforce the ban as they are run by the LTA as part of their respective tours.

Last week, Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston insisted that Russian and Belarusian players sign declaration forms distancing themselves from Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

In the men’s ATP rankings, there are four Russians in the top 100 and only one Belarusian.

In comparison, the women’s WTA list has ten Russians and Belarusians in the world top 100, with Minsk-born Aryna Sabalenka in fifth place.

Medvedev is already in a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon.

He underwent surgery to fix a minor hernia problem this week after retiring from the Miami Open and revealed he would be sidelined for “a month or two”.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic looks on course to be allowed to compete despite his unvaccinated status.

Aryna Sabalenka can also be banned from the SW19 pitch due to her Belarusian nationality

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Aryna Sabalenka can also be banned from the SW19 pitch due to her Belarusian nationalityCredit: PA

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5053393/wimbledon-ban-daniil-medvedev-vladimir-putin-ukraine-war/ World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev ready to ban Wimbledon

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