French Open 2022: Will Russian and Belarusian players compete at Roland-Garros?
Will the war in Ukraine involving Russia and Belarus see players from these countries banned from playing at Roland-Garros?
While the second major Grand Slam tournament of the year will begin on May 22 in the French capital, the question of the participation of Russian and Belarusian players is debated.
sports news is aware of the position of Roland-Garros vis-à-vis the Russian and Belarusian competitors.
Will Russian and Belarusian players participate in the French Open 2022?
The organizers of the French Open have decided do not follow Wimbledon and ban Russian and Belarusian competitors from the Grand Slam tournament, according to French publication RMC Sport.
However, the French Tennis Federation has yet to officially release a statement on its position.
Which Russian and Belarusian players would be affected by a suspension?
Daniel Medvedevwho briefly took the No. 1 spot from Novak Djokovic earlier this year, and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka would headline the top 50 male and female competitors excluded if Russian and Belarus players were banned from Roland Garros.
World No. 8 Andrei Rublev, Karen Khachanov (#26) and Aslan Karatsev (No. 34) would be the other Russians expelled from the men’s draw, along with the Belarusian world No. 48 Ilya Ivashka also to be left out.
In the women’s draw, Azarenka would be joined away by fellow Belarusians Aryna Sabalenka (#5) and Aliaksandra Sasnovitch (No. 50), while five Russian women Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (#15), Daria Kasatkina (No. 23), Veronika Kudermetova (#25), Ludmila Samsonova (#26) and Ekaterina Alexandrova (#45) would also be excluded.
Why are Russian and Belarusian players banned from sporting events?
Due to the involvement of Russia and Belarus in the war in Ukraine, teams and athletes from the two former nations have been banned from participating in certain sports competitions or have had sanctions imposed on their involvement.
Wimbledon has already officially announced that it will ban Russian and Belarusian players from the All-England Club for the June Grand Slam.
The ATP and WTA have banned Russia and Belarus from team events such as the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup this year, both of which saw Russia win their last editions before the start of the war.
For tournaments organized by the ATP and WTA, Russian and Belarusian players competed without their country’s flag, name and graphics on scoreboards and TV coverage.
It should be noted that the ATP does not support Wimbledon’s decision to exclude Russians and Belarusians.
In football, the national teams of Russia and Belarus have been excluded from participating in or qualifying for international competitions such as the World Cup and the European Football Championship, while their club teams have been barred to play in European club competitions such as the Champions League.
Rugby and hockey have also banned nations from competing on the world stage.
What tennis superstars have said about banning Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon
Current world number 1 Novak Djokovic has called Wimbledon’s decision to exclude Russian and Belarus players “crazy”.
“I will always condemn war; I will never support war being myself a child of war,” he told reporters in April.
“I know how emotionally traumatized it is. In Serbia, we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history.
“However, I can’t support Wimbledon’s decision, I think it’s crazy.
“When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”
Rafael Nadal, 2022 Australian Open champion and 21-time Grand Slam winner:
“I think it’s very unfair to my fellow Russian tennis players, my colleagues,” he said at the Madrid Open.
“In that sense, it’s not their fault what’s happening right now with the war.
“Let’s see what happens in the next few weeks, if the players will make some kind of decision… there is one thing that is negative, there are things that are clear.
“When the government imposes restrictions, you just have to follow them.”
Andy Murray, British tennis legend and three-time major winner:
“I am not in favor of banning players,” he said in early May. “Advice from the government has not been helpful.
“My understanding of the guidelines was that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a statement that they are against the war and against the Russian regime.
“I don’t know how comfortable I would feel if something happened to any of the players or their families (as a result). I don’t think there is a right answer.
“I spoke to some Russian players. I spoke to some Ukrainian players. I feel really bad for the players who are not allowed to play and I understand that it will seem unfair to them.
“But I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon, and I know how difficult a position they were in. I feel for everyone, I feel for the players who can’t play, and I don’t support a team or the other.”