A long statement published by the Wimbledon organizers confirmed the indiscretion launched by the New York Times in recent days and announced the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian tennis players from the prestigious London event.
Russia can count on the presence of two top ten in their ranks. These are Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, who will therefore not have the opportunity to take the field at Wimbledon. As for the men's tour, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and Ilya Ivashka will not compete in the tournament.
Also important are the defections in the women's draw, which will not be able to count on Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daria Kasatkina, Veronika Kudermetova, Liudmila Samsonova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Elina Svitolina on the decision taken by the Wimbledon organizers
Elina Svitolina, who has repeatedly expressed her point of view on the Russian invasion and on the choices made by the ATP and the WTA, commented on the intricate issue on the BBC microphones.
In the past few hours, several Ukrainian tennis players have published a post in which they condemn the silence of Russian athletes. "There comes a time when silence is a betrayal, and that moment is now," this is the emblematic phrase that encompasses all the meaning of their declaration.
“As I specified, we are not against tennis players but against the Russian government. The post that we Ukrainian players have published says that they should raise their voices and express their point of view on the decisions made by the government.
Talk about the situation. This is what we want," explained the Ukrainian player. "We share the tennis court and we want them to be anti-war too. Something really terrible is happening to the Ukrainian people. I think Russian tennis players have to raise their voices and choose which side to take.
They didn't ask me personally: How are things going? They don't talk about their choice, they don't say if they are for or against their government. This is a very sad and painful thing to see, because we meet them every single week.
Is sad. Ask tournaments to exclude them? This is not our idea at the moment. We just want to express our opinion. We do not want them to be totally excluded, but we do want them to speak out and claim that they are with the rest of the world or with the Russian people and government.
I think Wimbledon should grant an exemption if Russian and Belarusian tennis players take a stand against the war. I think it's the right thing to do."