Wimbledon confirmed on Wednesday that it had excluded all Russian and Belarusian players from competing due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Grand Slam grass court is the first tennis tournament to exclude individual competitors from the two countries, which means that men’s No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and women’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus will be excluded from the tournament June 27-10. July.
Djokovic, who grew up in war-torn Serbia, said the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict.
“I will always condemn war, I will never support that war itself is a child of war,” said Djokovic, whose own start to the season was tied by controversy following the Australian government’s decision to exclude him from the season’s first major tournament. journalists at the Serbia Open.
‘I know how much emotional trauma it leaves behind. In Serbia, we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history.
‘But I can not support Wimbledon’s decision, I think it’s crazy.
‘When politics intervene in the sport, the result is not good.’
All England Club explained the decision to exclude Russian and Belarusian competitors. Meanwhile, the All England Club issued a statement yesterday, which read: “Given the profile of the championships in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread government, industry, sporting and creative institutions’ efforts to limit Russia’s global influence by the strongest possible means.
“In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to take any advantage by involving Russian or Belarusian players in the championships.”
“It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to reject participation from Russian and Belarusian players for the 2022 Championships.”
All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt added: “We recognize that this is hard on the people concerned and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.”
Wimbledon said the decision would be reconsidered if circumstances ‘changed significantly’ between now and June, and welcomed the LTA’s decision to also exclude players from Russia and Belarus from their UK events this summer.
British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has previously called on all Russian and Belarusian athletes to prove that they are ‘truly neutral’ and to give assurances that they do not support or receive money from Vladimir Putin or the Russian regime.
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