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Medvedev, Rublev, and other Russians potentially face Wimbledon ban

The UK government is in talks with the All England Club regarding the status of Russian players for this summer’s Wimbledon Championships. There is seemingly a chance they could be banned from participating.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Spain's Pablo Andujar at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco Russia’s Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The status of Russian tennis players on tour has been a bit of a question mark ever since their country started waging war on Ukraine in late February. Although the Russians have been allowed to continue playing on the ATP and WTA Tours, they cannot officially represent Russia. No flag or country abbreviation can be found by their names.

Chances are becoming increasingly real that an all-out ban could be coming at some point — perhaps in the not-to-distant future. One tournament in which Russians may not be welcomed is Wimbledon. On Tuesday, UK sports minister Nigel Huddleston said that his government is currently in talks with the All England Club regarding Wimbledon’s stance on this particular subject. He spoke to The Times.

“Nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed”

“We are talking to various sports about this and what the response should be there,” he told the Department for Culture, Media and Sport committee. “Absolutely, nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled.

“But I think it needs to go beyond that. I think we need to have some assurance that they are not supporters of Vladimir Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to get assurances along those lines. In short, would I be comfortable with a Russian athlete flying the flag of Russia? No.”

Russia has already been banned by the ITF from competing in international team competitions such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

Medvedev : “There’s always a possibility”

Medvedev obviously hopes to continue playing individually — with or without any country affiliation — but recognizes the risk of that not being the case.

“It’s always tough to talk on this subject because I want to play tennis — play in different countries,” the 26-year-old said last week. “We never know, some sports made this decision (to ban athletes from playing), especially I would think the team sports. Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone’s living in so many different places.

“There’s always a possibility, but I hope not.”

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