Patrick Mouratoglou said he thought Wimbledon was under a huge pressure from the UK government to ban Russian players and their decision to impose a ban left him "very shocked." After Wimbledon announced their decision, top-ranked Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina sad Ukrainian players don't want Russian players completely banned from competing, they just want them to make clear their position regarding the war.
“Banning Russian and Belarusian players from playing at Wimbledon is a very shocking decision for me. Leave the politics to the politicians. Of course, there is a war. Everyone is against the war, including players from Russia and Belarus," Mouratoglou explained a clip posted on his Instagram.
Mouratoglou: Condemning Vladimir Putin could put Russian players in danger
Svitolina and other Ukrainian players demanded the ATP and WTA to ask Russian and Belarusian players three questions before they're allowed to continue competing.
Ukrainian players want to know whether Russian and Belarusian player support the actions Russia is taking in Ukraine. If they are strongly against what is happening in Ukraine and the current Russian and Belarusian regimes, Ukrainian players say they have nothing against Russian and Belarusian being allowed to compete.
“I understand the position of the Ukrainian players because there is war in their country, they have friends, family, who have been killed or who fear being killed tomorrow. I understand that they want very strong points from Russian and Belarusian players," Mouratoglou explained.
“Now, if you’re in their shoes, Russians and Belarusians, they have their families living in Russia and by saying something like that, like condemning the government, they are potentially putting their own family in trouble.
“So, I think Russian players and Belarusian players have said a lot already! “They don’t literally say it, but they say it. So I think that is the most they can do without taking any risks, too much risk for their own families”.