Ukrainian Tennis Federation urges ITF to ban Russian players, including Medvedev & Rublev, from individual and team events

Ukraine's tennis federation has demanded the ITF ban Russians from competing in individual & team events.
Ukraine's tennis federation has demanded the ITF ban Russians from competing in individual & team events.

Russian tennis players were recently targeted by the Ukrainian Tennis Federation amidst the ongoing conflict between the two nations. In a strongly worded letter, the governing body demanded that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Tennis Europe not only bar Russia and its allies from organizing pro tournaments, but also prevent their players from competing in team and individual events.

Russia has been given the cold shoulder by a large majority of European countries following its recent invasion of Ukraine. Several countries, including Poland and Sweden, have refused to allow their football teams to play against Russia in this year's World Cup play-offs. They have also issued a joint statement demanding FIFA not allow Russia to hold home fixtures.

In that context, it comes as no surprise that the Ukrainian Tennis Federation has urged the ITF and tennis Europe to "immediately expel the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation (who have sided with Russia) from their membership in the ITF."

Here is the full letter:

"President of the International tennis federation Mr. David Haggerty. Ukrainian Tennis Federation expresses its demand to the International Tennis Federation to immediately expel the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus tennis federation from its membership in the ITF. Probably the reasons should not be explained, but here are some facts:
"The unprecedented, cynical and bloody attack of Russia and Belarus on Ukraine has been going on for four days now. Civilians are dying, including women and children; civilian infrastructure is collapsing. This is a full-scale war that will push our country back decades. All this is happening in the geographical center of Europe. The world has not known anything like this since World War II. There is a ruthless war of extermination.
"Russia and Belarus have no right not only to hold international competitions on their territories, but also to participate in all ITF team and individual tournaments abroad. Board of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation hopes for your strong position in consideration of this demand."
Today the Ukrainian Tennis Federation has sent letters to the ITF and Tennis Europe. In it they have demanded the expulsion of the Russian and Belarus tennis federations ⬇️⬇️

Medvedev, Rublev and other Russian tennis players might not be allowed to compete at Majors and Davis Cup if Ukrainian Tennis Federation's demands are met

Daniil Medvedev (L) and Andrey Rublev
Daniil Medvedev (L) and Andrey Rublev

The ramifications of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation's demands could be huge if they are taken seriously. Stars like Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, who have enjoyed immense success on the ATP tour over the last few years, might not be allowed to play in the Grand Slams and the Davis Cup.

That might seem unfair on the Russian duo, both of whom have called for peace amidst the ongoing conflict. Keeping in mind how Medvedev and Rublev have broken new ground recently, rising to No. 1 and No. 6 in the men's rankings respectively, it wouldn't bode well for their career trajectories if they were barred from competing at the Majors.

Other top Russian players like Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Daria Kasatkina and Ludmilla Samsonova would also suffer should the ITF agree to the Ukrainian Tennis Federation's demands.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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