Women’s no.1 concerned by ‘chaos’ after Wimbledon’s Russia ban
Iga Swiatek reacted after the London Grand Slam confirmed its ban on Russian and Belarusian players
Poland’s Iga Swiatek says the tennis authorities should avoid “chaotic” decisions as she commented on the move by Wimbledon chiefs to ban Russian and Belarusian players.
Swiatek, 20, stands on top of the world rankings after an incredible run which has seen her win four successive WTA Tour titles.
The Pole was forced to withdraw from this week’s Madrid Open at short notice due to a right shoulder injury, but spoke to reporters about the UK’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players which has dominated the headlines in recent days.
“The situation is getting like more and more chaotic, I would say,” Swiatek said, according to the AFP.
“But I feel like it would be nice to have all these bodies making the proper decision so that we’re not going to have that kind of chaos.
“I feel like people are expecting us players to make the decision, but it’s pretty hard for us to make one because we know these people. We know each other. We are spending so much time on tour that it feels like we’re family.
“For sure it’s a tough situation and that’s why I think the actual people who are responsible for making this decision, they should make one decision that is going to last.”
The decision by Wimbledon organizers the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to prohibit Russian and Belarusian players this summer has plunged tennis into civil war.
The ruling goes against the positions of the ITF, WTA and ATP – all of which have stated that Russian and Belarusian players should continue to compete under neutral status.
The ATP and WTA both issued statements condemning Wimbledon, with reports that they could retaliate by stripping the grass court showpiece of the rankings points players would usually earn.
This week, Wimbledon chiefs attempted to defend their stance by claiming it was not discriminatory, couching it as part of UK government efforts “to limit Russia’s influence” in the wake of the military offensive in Ukraine.
Swiatek refrained from stating specifically if she agreed or disagreed with Wimbledon’s stance and stressed that she was “not involved in politics.”
“I don’t know what decision is right, because honestly, I’m 20 and it’s not like I’m saying that because I want to stay in a safe bubble,” said the 2020 French Open winner.
“But honestly, I’ve never been involved in politics and it’s not like I know everything. It’s more like I still need to educate myself and I feel like I should educate myself a little bit more in that.
“So I can’t tell what’s the best decision that’s for sure. Making some moves that are going to help stop the war a little bit would be better,” she added.
The French Open, which is the second Grand Slam on the calendar and gets underway on May 22, has given no indication it will follow in Wimbledon’s footsteps by blocking Russian and Belarusian players from competing.
The stance by officials in the UK means a host of Russian and Belarusian male and female stars are set to miss the prestigious summer showpiece, including men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev and women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka.