Novak Djokovic calls Russian and Belarusian tennis players banned from playing at Wimbledon “insanity”

Wimbledon: Russian and Belarusian tennis players affected 1:21 London (CNN) — Novak Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, criticized the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian tennis players from competing at Wimbledon this year, calling the move “craziness”. Wimbledon organizers announced on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete at this year’s edition following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “I will always condemn war, I will never support war being a child of war myself,” the world No. 1 told reporters at the Serbian Open. Djokovic was just 11 years old when he endured the airstrikes on the Serbian capital, which marked the start of what would become a 78-day campaign by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to try to end the atrocities committed by troops. of the then president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, against the ethnic Albanians of the province of Kosovo. “I know the emotional trauma it leaves behind. In Serbia, we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history,” he told reporters. “However, I can’t support the Wimbledon decision, I think it’s crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.” Wimbledon announced and defended its decision on Wednesday to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament. “Given the profile of The Championships in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts by government, industry, sports and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the media. strongest possible,” the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said in a statement. “In the circumstances of such an unprecedented and unjustified military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefit from the participation of Russian or Belarusian players in the Championship. “Therefore, it is our intention, with deep regret, to reject the registrations of Russian and Belarusian players at The 2022 Championships,” he added. The Kremlin said earlier on Wednesday that the ban on Russian players from Wimbledon as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “unacceptable.” Russians will bar several top-ranked players from competing at the iconic grass-court Grand Slam Four Russian men, including world number two and reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, are currently in the top 30 of the ATP rankings Russia has five women in the top 40 of the WTA rankings, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka is currently the fourth rth in the world and was a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year, while her compatriot Victoria Azarenka, a former world number 1, is currently ranked 18th. The AELTC’s decision is the first time that Russian and Belarusian players have been banned from competing in an elite tennis event.