BREAKING: ATP, WTA Tours Announce Immediate Suspension of Russian and Belarusian Tennis Federations

Published 03/01/2022, 2:20 PM EST

After seeing the movement in other sports related to Russia’s exclusion from major events this year, the ITF released a statement stating the immediate suspension of Russian and Belarusian tennis federations and also announced their exclusion from the Davis Cup as well as the Billie Jean King Cup.

ATP, WTA, and ITF impose ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis federations

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The tennis organizations (ITF, WTA, and ATP) have also canceled all tennis tournaments that are supposed to take place in Russia until further notice.

The International Tennis Federation(ITF) condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its facilitation by Belarus. In addition to the cancellation of all ITF events in those countries, the ITF board has today announced the immediate suspension of the Russian Tennis Federation(RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation(BTF) from ITF membership.” 

However, players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete on both the WTA and ATP tour events including the Grand Slams. But, they won’t be competing under the flag of Russia or Belarus in the near future.

As it is largely an individual sport, players won’t have any direct impact as such but with Russia being the defending champions of both the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, it remains to be seen how will those two tournaments take place this season.

In their joint statement, the boards reveal how players safety is their utmost priority.

The safety of the tennis community is our most immediate collective priority. The focus of the WTA and ATP in particular in recent days has been on contacting current and former players, and other members of the tennis community from Ukraine and neighboring countries, to check on their safety and offer any assistance.”

Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain – December 5, 2021 Russian Tennis Federation team celebrates with trophy on the podium winning the Davis Cup REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Ever since the conflict began, several players have taken an active part in sending a message of peace. Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina made a bold move yesterday as she decided to not play against any Russian player until the three federations make them play as neutral athletes.

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As things stand at the moment, Russian players like Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and others won’t be playing under the name or flag of Russia in the near future.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

819 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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