John McEnroe: I would disagree with Wimbledon banning Russian, Belarusian players
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 3486
John McEnroe has called on the AELTC to change their stance and allow Russian and Belarusian players to return to Wimbledon in 2023. Last year, Wimbledon was the only tournament that banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing.
“Obviously this is a horrific situation which is going on in the war and people deal with it in different ways. I disagreed with it last year that Wimbledon didn’t allow the Russians or Belarusian players to play.
I would disagree with it this year. I don’t know what they’re going to do. It’s a situation that no one wants. So hopefully something will change that allows the players to play. It happens that in our sport, some of our top male and female players come from those two countries.
They shouldn’t, I don’t believe, be punished for something that they have nothing to do with," McEnroe said at a Eurosport event, per Tennis365.
McEnroe calls for Wimbledon to allow Russian, Belarusian players to play
Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in 2022 Wimbledon didn't sit well with the ATP and WTA officials.
The ATP and WTA made it pretty clear they were strongly against their ban and they sanctioned Wimbledon by removing ranking points from the 2022 tournament. Since the end of 2022 Wimbledon, the tournament officials have been under pressure to change their stance.
At the start of this season, Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka lifted her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Sabalenka, who is now a Grand Slam champion and the world No 2, was one of the big names that weren't allowed to compete at Wimbledon last year.
In Melbourne, Sabalenka competed as a neutral. After winning the Australian Open, her name was engraved on the trophy but not the abbreviation of her country. As it stands now, Wimbledon is the only tournament that could ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in 2023.