The recent decision to deny participation in the third slam of the year to Russian and Belarusian tennis players by the organizers of the Wimbledon tournament has sparked quite a few controversies in the tennis world. First of all, the same athletes from Russia and Belarus said they were surprised and disappointed by the decisive stance taken by the organizers of the British tournament, above all Andrey Rublev, who defined it as a real discrimination.
Subsequently, the world number one Novak Djokovic and the same ATP rejected the decision of the organizers of Wimbedon. The latest to express his disapproval of the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from the grass Slam was Patrick Mouratoglou, who gave a short interview to Tennis Majors.
Mouratoglou: "A very surprising decision"
The French coach said he was surprised at the decision taken by the organizers of the British tournament: "Banning Russian and Belarusian players from playing Wimbledon is a very surprising decision for me.
Politics must be left to politicians. Of course, there is a war going on and I'm sure everyone is against the war, including the Russian and Belarusian players. 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 are afraid of being killed tomorrow.
I understand that they want very strong free-kicks for the Russian and Belarusian players." Mouratoglou then added that there are many tennis players who have already declared themselves against the war and that it must be very difficult for them, given that their families are still in Russia.
Mouratoglou added: "Now, if you are in their place, instead of the 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 the Russian and Belarusian players have already said a lot. They don't literally say they are anti-war, but they prove it. So I think it's the best they can do without taking any risk, too much risk for their own families."
In addition to the aforementioned Andrey Rublev, the number two of the ATP ranking Daniil Medvedev and the number 5 of the WTA ranking Aryna Sabalenka also risk exclusion from all.