Iga Swiatek attacks Russian and Belarusian tennis players hard

The British Tennis Association (LTA) and Wimbledon bowed to pressure from the ATP and WTA to end the ban on Russian and Belarusian players

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Iga Swiatek attacks Russian and Belarusian tennis players hard

The British Tennis Association (LTA) and Wimbledon bowed to pressure from the ATP and WTA to end the ban on Russian and Belarusian players. Last year, due to issues relating to the war, which saw Russia invade Ukraine, the decision of the English Slam caused a lot of clamor, which decided to exclude all tennis players of Russian and Belarusian nationality from the competition.

As a result, the ATP decided not to award points to all participants. The oldest tournament in the world will, from the 2023 edition, which will take place in London from 3 to 16 July, open its doors again to athletes of these nationalities.

On this decision, the world number one Iga Swiatek made a particularly strong statement to the BBC, expressing her disappointment that tennis governing bodies have not imposed a blanket ban on athletes of these nationalities.

She explained: "After WWII, German players weren't allowed, as were Japanese and Italian players. I have the impression that such a thing would show the Russian government that perhaps it is not worth it. We are only athletes, a small part of the world, but sport is very important and sport has always been used for propaganda purposes."

Iga Swiatek criticizes tennis governing bodies

"Tennis, from the beginning, could have done a little bit better to show everyone that tennis players are against war.

It didn't go down this path and now it would be unfair to suspend the Russian and Belarusian players, because this decision should have been made a year ago," said the two-time Roland Garros champion, who wished the sports authorities were more firm already.

after the first Russian offensives in Ukraine. Speech much appreciated by my colleague Alexandr Dolgopolov, who expressed great gratitude for her unwavering support "As usual Iga Swiatek tells the truth. Not only were they shut out after WWII, but also look at how the USSR viewed war guilt.

Yes, for Russia it's a sensitive issue, their sport. Until they are ready to support us and openly fight against evil, they shouldn't play...", tweeted the Ukrainian tennis player underlining the need to ban Russian and Belarusian players from playing until their governments intervene to stop the war in progress.

Iga Swiatek Russia Wimbledon
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