Players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year. The decision was announced Wednesday. The third Slam of the year became the first to ban players from those countries, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ close allyship to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The All England Club (AELTC) — the Wimbledon organizers — said the decision was made to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.” The statement continued: “In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships.”
The call means men’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and women’s world No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka — who reached the semifinals last year at Wimbledon — are prohibited from playing. Here’s how Wimbledon came to this decision, and the ramifications of it.