Reports: Wimbledon to bar Russians from Slam

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Russian players will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to multiple reports.

A ban on Russian players would prevent world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, ranked eighth, from competing in the men’s draw. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is 15th in the women’s rankings.

Sportico, which first reported on the planned Russian ban Tuesday, said it was unclear whether players from Belarus would also be barred, while The New York Times reported that Belarusian players would not be allowed to compete. Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation.”

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is ranked No. 4 and was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year. Her compatriot Victoria Azarenka, a former No. 1, is ranked No. 18.

Earlier this month, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organizes the grass-court Grand Slam, said it was in talks with the British government on the participation of players from Russia and Belarus. The organizers said they planned to announce a decision in mid-May ahead of the entry deadline for the June 27-July 10 tournament.

The AELTC did not immediately respond to request for comment from Reuters.

Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete at the French Open, which begins May 22, but as neutral athletes.

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