International Governing Bodies of Tennis Take a Stand on Ukraine

ITF Sunderland
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Today, the International Governing Bodies of Tennis released a statement with their stand on the Russian war in Ukraine.

International Tennis takes a stand on Ukraine invasion.

Several days into the Ukraine invasion by Russian forces, the International Governing bodies have released a statement and taken a stand. Mounting pressure from Ukrainian players and others, for their organisations to follow the lead of FIFA, UEFA and the IOC.

Elina Svitolina openly stated that she would not play against any player from Russia or Belarus, if  they were representing either country. Svitolina posted on her social media yesterday, and is due to play a first round match in Monterrey.

Her opponent was to be Anastasia Potapova, who is a Russian national. Svitolina, as it stood yesterday would have been due to not play this match. However, the joint governing bodies have finally produced a statement on their agreed stance. Having all discussed the way forward the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slams have taken the following actions. It remains to be seen if Svitolina will withdraw from her match.

The Statement

The ATP/WTA have suspended the event scheduled in Moscow in October. The ITF have cancelled all events in both countries.  Russia and Belarus Tennis Federations have been suspended from the ITF and will not be allowed to compete in team events until further notice. Russian and Belarus players can compete in events, but only as neutrals until further notice.

The full statement can be found on the WTA site,

Svitolina is still scheduled to play Potapova. With this statement from the governing bodies of International Tennis out, the match is likely to go ahead.

Will players from Russia and Belaurs be happy to play as neutral competitors? If they don’t they will not be able to play.

Russian players have to be careful. Protest is illegal in Russia and they could face jail time. Andrey Rublev took a big risk writing “No War Please” on the camera at the end of his match on Saturday.

Main Photo from Getty.