Aryna Sabalenka: Wimbledon ban changed nothing

Aryna Sabalenka believes Wimbledon ban changed nothing

Aryna Sabalenka believes Wimbledon ban changed nothing

Aryna Sabalenka believes Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarussian players last year ‘changed nothing’ in the bigger picture.

“I’m just really disappointed sport is somehow in politics,” Wold no 5 Sabalenka told Australian newspaper The Age.

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Belarusian Sabalenka was one of several top players to miss out on the Grand Slam, after Wimbledon imposed the ban following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re just athletes playing their sport,” she added.

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“That’s it. We’re not about politics. If all of us could do something [about the war], we would do it, but we have zero control.

“They banned us from Wimbledon, and what did it change? Nothing – they’re [the Russian government] still doing this, and this is the sad [part] of this situation.”

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Wimbledon organisers were fined and the tournament was stripped of its ranking points by the ATP and WTA.

The AELTC is yet to announce if the ban will continue for the 2023 tournament as well.

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But Sabalenka, who added that “no-one supports war”, is hopeful of a return to the grass-court major, having found herself unable to bear watching last year’s action.