Estonia bans Russian and Belarusian players from tennis competitions

Estonia is scheduled to host two ITF events in August and a WTA 250 event in late September

Aryna Sabalenka, Berlin 2022 Aryna Sabalenka, Berlin 2022 – © Imago / Panoramic

Estonia has become the latest country to ban Russian and Ukrainian players from competing in tennis events held in the country, following in the footsteps of UK’s Lawn Tennis Association, which banned players from the two countries for Wimbledon and other tour events.

Estonia is scheduled to host two ITF events in Parnu, August and a WTA 250 event in Tallinn in late September.

“International sports are now in no way separated from politics, Russia and Belarus use sports to achieve their strategic goals. With this decision, we are sending a clear message,” Liina Kersna, the Estonian Acting Minister of Culture, said according to Ubitennis.

According to Allar Hint, the general secretary of the Estonian Tennis Federation, the ITF events will have ranking points since there are alternate tournaments in other countries where the banned players will be able to compete.

The Tallin Open is the only WTA event in its week on the calendar (last week of September) along with a WTA $125K event.

It remains to be seen if the WTA will not allot any ranking points for the tournament, similar to its stance on Wimbledon.

Russian Tennis president Shamil Tarpischev said the actions were not surprising but did not come from a good place. “Well, what’s new here? Banned and banned. It’s not from a great mind,” Tarpischev said as per Ubitennis.

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