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Medvedev free to defend US Open title as Russians/Belarusians given go-ahead to play under neutral flag

The US Open decided not to follow the example set by Wimbledon in banning Russian and Belarusian players

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 U.S. Open Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 U.S. Open Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

World No 1 Daniil Medvedev will be able to defend his US Open title at this year’s event in Flushing Meadows after the USTA decided not to follow Wimbledon’s example in banning Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on Tuesday, the USTA said it “continues to condemn the invasion of Ukraine” but decided to allow players from Russia and Belarus to compete.

“We recognize that each organization has had to deal with unique circumstances that affect their decisions. Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 US Open,” it said in a statement.

“The USTA will work with the players and both Tours to use the US Open as a platform to further the humanitarian effort of the “Tennis Plays for Peace” program.  In addition, the USTA will introduce a broad, comprehensive set of initiatives to amplify existing Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, including committing to significant financial support, for which details will be announced soon.”

Medvedev beat then world No 1 Novak Djokovic to win his first Grand Slam title in new York last year, denying the Serb the one win he needed to complete the coveted calendar-year Grand Slam.

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