Russians will be allowed at US Open tennis

·2-min read

Daniil Medvedev can defend his US Open title in New York in August after the US Tennis Association (USTA) said Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Wimbledon have banned players from both nations (Belarus has been a staging post for Russian soldiers) prompting the men's and women's tour to withdraw ranking points from the event.

USTA CEO and Executive Director Lew Sherr told The Associated Press on Tuesday, that the USTA Board decided to let Russians and Belarusians enter the tournament because of "concern about holding the individual athletes accountable for the actions and decisions of their governments."

Sherr said athletes from Russia and Belarus will play at Flushing Meadows under a neutral flag -- an arrangement that's been used at various tennis tournaments around the world, including the French Open, which ended on June 5.

Since Russia began the invasion in February, Russian athletes have been prevented from taking part in many sports, including soccer's World Cup qualifying playoffs. Belarus has aided Russia in the invasion.

Russia were also banned from international team events in tennis, the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup. The nation was the reigning champion in both.

"Alongside the other Grand Slams, the ITF, the ATP and the WTA, the USTA, which owns and operates the US Open, has previously condemned, and continues to condemn, the unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia," the USTA said.

"The USTA ... supported the banning of the Russian and Belarusian Tennis Federations from the ITF, and therefore all international team competitions, and the directive for players from those countries to play under a neutral flag when competing outside of international team competitions."

Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky slammed the decision, writing on Twitter: "You cannot put a price tag on being able to live with yourself. I salute Wimbledon, the only entity which has a moral code."

The Wimbledon ban means neither the men's No. 1 Medvedev, or the women's No. 5 Belarusian Arnya Sabalenka, will participate later this month.

The US Open starts on August 29 in New York.

With Reuters

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