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Kvitova not thrilled about Wimbledon reversing Russian ban: “I’m just still a bit on the Ukrainian side of this”
Petra Kvitova was asked following her Miami semi-final victory about Wimbledon’s change to their policy that previously prevented Russians and Belarusians from playing.
The All-England Club confirmed on Friday that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to play at Wimbledon this summer. In the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine (with support from Belarus), Russians and Belarusians were banned from the 2022 Championships. That will change in 2023, with some conditions.
“Our current intention is to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players subject to them competing as ‘neutral’ athletes and complying with appropriate conditions,” Wimbledon stated. “These will prohibit expressions of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in various forms and prohibit entry by players receiving funding from the Russian and/or Belarusian states (including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by the states) in relation to their participation in The Championships.”
Kvitova: “I’m just more worried about the Ukrainian people and players”
Unsurprisingly, it was a hot topic in the press room at the Miami Open.
Petra Kvitova was asked about the decision following her semi-final victory over Sorana Cirstea on Friday.
“I always state [that I’m] against the war,” the Czech commented. “For sure I’m just more worried about the Ukrainian people and players. I appreciate that Wimbledon had a tough time last year not giving the points, that Belarusian and Russian (players) didn’t play. And I think they shouldn’t be allowed, actually, in my opinion, either to (play in) the Olympics.
“I’m just still a bit on the Ukrainian side of this.”
Kvitova was then asked to clarify if she only wanted Russians and Belarusians banned from the Olympics or from the tour in general.
“Well, not in the Olympics, for sure,” she answered. “Because I feel the Olympics Games [exist] because we don’t want a war in the world. So that’s my concern. I’m really appreciating that Wimbledon didn’t take them last year.”