ussian and Belarusian tennis players are expected to be allowed to compete at this year’s Roland Garros, starting May 22.
Sports stars from Russia and Belarus continue to face an uncertain future after the war in Ukraine that began in February. Millions have fled the country and the European response has spilled over into the sporting arena on multiple fronts, calling for a massive boycott.
The Wimbledon AELTC recently took the decision to ban players from these countries from participating in this year’s tournament. Indeed, the Grand Slam’s close ties to the royal family played a part, with concerns over looking to endorse Russia or Belarus in any way should one of their players win.
Novak Djokovic was among many tennis stars to speak out against the Wimbledon ban, calling it ‘crazy’. Roland Garros will go in a different direction according to tennis journalist Luigi Gatto, with Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka who will be allowed to compete.
Medvedev is ranked number two on the men’s side and Sabalenka number four on the women’s side. The latter fought through to the Wimbledon semi-finals last year but crashed out in the third round of Roland-Garros. She could be allowed to fight further in the tournament if Roland Garros’ anticipated position on the Russian and Belarusian competitors comes to light.