Wimbledon struggles to avoid shadow of Russia ban


Stakhovsky wants Russians banned from all sports.

However, six-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic believes that would be a step too far.

“I just don’t see how they have contributed to anything that is really happening. I don’t feel it’s fair,” said Djokovic, adding that Russian and Belarusians be allowed to play under neutral flags.

That’s what happens in the week-in, week-out ATP and WTA tours.

When Wimbledon announced its ban, the two tours retaliated by stripping the tournament of ranking points.

“In terms of the response from the ATP, I didn’t really agree with it. I just don’t see who it helps,” said two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

“All the players have still showed up to play here, so I don’t see how it puts the ATP in a stronger position moving forwards.”

In a further move, Wimbledon said that it will provide tournament tickets to Ukrainian refugees living in the local areas of south-west London.

All England Club officials will also donate £250,000 (US$306,000) to the refugees’ charity.

That humanitarian gesture, however, hasn’t softened Nick Kyrgios’ belief that the ban was ill-advised.

“I don’t think it was a good idea to ban the Russian players. Medvedev is the best we have in our sport right now,” said the Australian player.

“Whenever we have cameras on and a lot of people tuning in, you want our best players to be on showcase for the sport to grow.

“I’m disappointed they’re not here. It’s weird not seeing Medvedev here.”

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