Thursday, September 29, 2022
HomeSportUkraine tennis star backs Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players

Ukraine tennis star backs Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players


Sergiy Stakhovsky has backed Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament. The 36-year-old Ukrainian, who retired from tennis following this year’s Australian Open, is now serving in his country’s army.

“I cannot say it was a joyful reaction but it is something I believe should be done,” Stakhovsky told the Daily Mail after Wimbledon announced the ban. “In the first two weeks of the war I was more laid back about it, thinking that every individual should be judged based on their stance.

“But we know how the Russian troops are behaving in the occupied cities. We know what they can do – slaughter, rape, torture. So I’m sorry, I now have a different view.

“To be honest I was a bit shocked because it [Wimbledon’s ban] is a very strong stance which I did not expect. But of course I am grateful for their decision because I don’t think there is anything else that can be done right now.

READ MORE: Andy Murray to ‘defend’ Wimbledon decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players

“The things they have done there, they cannot be human. You haven’t seen half of what is real there on your TV. They are sadists, they aren’t human. It’s one thing when someone presses a button 200 kilometres away and the missile lands on a train station killing children – it’s something else when someone is holding a gun to a child’s head and shooting, or burning the bodies of women they raped.”

This year’s Wimbledon is set to get underway at the end of June. And the All England Club announced their ban last Wednesday. “Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible,” read a statement on the Wimbledon website.

“In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022.”



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