Daniil Medvedev to defend US Open title after Russians permitted to compete

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US Open Russian Players Allowed Tennis (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
US Open Russian Players Allowed Tennis (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Daniil Medvedev is set to defend his US Open title after the tournament cleared tennis players from Russia and Belarus to compete at Flushing Meadows.

The move contradicts the stance from Wimbledon, which banned those athletes.

U.S. Tennis Association CEO and Executive Director Lew Sherr, whose group runs the U.S. Open, revealed that the USTA Board decided to let Russians and Belarusians enter the tournament because of “concern about holding the individual athletes accountable for the actions and decisions of their governments.”

Players from Russia and Belarus will play at Flushing Meadows under a neutral flag — an arrangement that’s been used at various tennis tournaments around the world, including the French Open, which ended 5 June.

Since Russia began its attacks on Ukraine in February, Russian athletes have been prevented from taking part in many sports, including soccer’s World Cup qualifying playoffs. Belarus has aided Russia in the invasion.

Russia also was held out of international team events in tennis, the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup. It was the reigning champion in both.

The All England Club, where main-draw play for Wimbledon starts on 27 June, announced in April it would bar all Russians and Belarusians from its fields — which means the man currently ranked No. 1, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, is not eligible to participate.

The U.S. Open starts on 29 August in New York.

AP contributed to this report

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