Unlike Wimbledon, French Open 2022 Opens Doors for Russian and Belarussian Athletes With Close Monitoring

Published 05/12/2022, 8:16 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 01: The Roland Garros logo is seen outside the VIP village on day nine of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The French Open has finally cleared the air on the participation of Russian and Belarusian players at this year’s tournament. As per the tournament director, Amelie Mauresmo, the players would be allowed to play at the French Open later this month. However, the decision comes with a clause. As per Amelie, these players would be under strict monitoring for their comments in the media. Any pro-Putin comment by a Russian or a Belarusian player would give be an invitation to sanctions.

The decision comes as a sigh of relief for several players who were unhappy with Wimbledon’s decision. In lieu of the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, weeks ago, Wimbledon announced it is banning the Russian and Belarusian players from competing at this year at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

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The decision received massive criticism from players, as well as the entire tennis community. Expressing their disapproval, men’s players called out to ATP, requesting them to withdraw the winning points from Wimbledon. However, the apex body of men’s tennis is yet to take a decision on it.

French Open to let Russian and Belarusian players compete

It was a much awaited resolution. Seeing the outrageous criticism received by Wimbledon for their decision of not letting the players take part in Roland Garros as well would unquestionably been a matter of dispute between players and the governing bodies. The sole argument put up by players in the case was, how will their absence in the tournament make a difference in the ongoing situation?

PARIS – JUNE 01: A view of the Roland Garros logo on day eight of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2008 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Taking all the points into consideration, Amelie Mauresmo, today, took to the French national radio, France Inter, announcing her decision. In her announcement, she quoted the decision of European and other governments taken in March which stated that national teams of Russia and Belarus will be banned. However, athletes could continue playing as individuals.

She said, “It’s very complicated, probably there is no fair decision to take. We keep the line of what all the European governments – and other governments – decided in March, i.e. national teams of Russia and Belarus banned, but not the athletes as individuals, as long as they play under strict neutrality. We will be very meticulous on that.”

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Even though she allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete, she made it a point that no pro-Putin act or statement will be tolerated. She said, “If any of them (players) should have pro-Poutine statements in the media, there will be sanctions fur sure.”

The hot favorites of 2022 Roland Garros

With Roland Garros just 10 days away, every player on the tour is pulling up their socks, leaving no stone unturned in their practice. Going by the year so far, this year’s French Open is expected to see some new faces rising to the top. Giving a special mention to Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard is in a devastating form. Entering the slam with Barcelona and Madrid titles, the rising star is undoubtedly expected to be a tough competitor in the draw.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

The young generation is up the pace in the most rapid way. However, doing all the calculations, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic remain the hot favorite on the men’s side. On the other hand, Iga Swiatek has the highest bets on the women’s side.

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Ahmar Wasif

511 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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