Tennis governing bodies announce sanctions against Russia and Belarus

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, tennis’s authorities have united to issue a statement that will impact on players across men’s and women’s tours.

Dayana and Ivana Yastremska Dayana YASTREMSKA (UKR) Ivanna YASTREMSKA (UKR) quittent le cours – Open 6eme sens Métropole de Lyon, Lyon 28/02/2022 – Photo Sandrine Thesillat / Panoramic || 223389_0005 2022 femmes joueuses Lyon Metropole de Lyon tennis ukraine woman WTA250

In a unified joint statement, tennis governing bodies announced a set of sanctions against Russia and Belarus on Tuesday.

The ITF, WTA and ATP along with organisers of the four Grand Slams issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that Russia and Belarus had both been suspended from tennis competition, meaning they will not be able to compete in either the Davis Cup or the Billie Jean King Cup.

They also said that although individual players are still able to compete, they would not be able to do so in the name of their country or under their national flag.

“The international governing bodies of tennis stand united in our condemnation of Russia’s actions,” the statement read, adding that the joint ATP-WTA event due to be held in Moscow in the autumn has been suspended.

Of course, such a decision will affect the new men’s world No 1, Daniil Medvedev. Seva Kevlych, board member of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation, had earlier called on him specifically to be banned from Grand Slams forthwith.

In an interview with beIN Sports, he explained that such a measure would remove the prestige of the world No 1 status from him in due course while still permitting him to play professionally.

Yastremska: ‘My heart stays at home’

Dayana Yastremska, who fled to France from Ukraine just a few days ago, won her first singles match in Lyon, playing for over three hours to beat Romania’s Ana Bogdan 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7).

With the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag around her, she said after the match: “I’m happy that I won for my country but at the same time I’m very sad. I want to say thanks for the support. When I just arrived in France, a lot of people texted me with their support and with any help. It was amazing today.

“My heart stays at home and my mind is fighting here, so it’s very difficult to find the concentration, to find the balance.

“This win compared to what is going on in my country is nothing but I’m happy at least I’m also fighting. I’m very proud of the Ukrainians. They’re really heroes and I wish everything is going to finish soon.”

She partnered her 15-year-old sister Ivanna in the doubles but the Yastremskas lost to Georgina Garcia Perez and Xenia Knott in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

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