Victoria Azarenka will be one of the many tennis players forced to miss the next edition of the Wimbledon tournament. The organizers of the Championships have in fact decided to exclude Russian and Belarusian tennis players from the London Slam due to the war waged by Russia in Ukraine.
All England Club President Ian Hewitt explained: "Now I would like to address the issue that is at the center of our attention, namely the desire to deny participation in Wimbledon to Russian and Belarusian athletes. After a long and careful consideration, we have come to two conclusions on which our decisions are based.
Even if we accept the participation of Russians and Belarusians with written declarations, we risk that their winning participation will be used as propaganda by the Russian regime. Which we could not accept. We also need to ensure that our every action does not put the players or their families at risk.
Following the directives of the Government, there is no valid alternative to the decision taken in this tragic and particular circumstance."
Azarenka: "Wimbledon? It's not fair. I want to be there"
Azarenka, who left the court in tears in Indian Wells, expressed her harsh opinion on the choice made by the Wimbledon organizers at a press conference in Madrid.
She said: "I made a two hour long call with the leaders of the LTA and the Wimbledon tournament. I and all the other representatives of the Players' Council were present. It was nice to have the chance to talk to them, ask questions and understand their point of view.
To be honest, I don't agree with their stance: I find it useless and unfair towards us athletes who work every day to present ourselves in the best conditions at the most important tournaments of the year. I want to be there at Wimbledon.
I have repeatedly expressed my opinion firmly: I do not agree with the war, ever. I could never justify violence of any kind and against anyone. I hope that the WTA can do something to make the measure regarding our condition less harsh."