US Open will let Russian and Belarusian players compete following Wimbledon ban

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The USTA announced on Tuesday that unlike Wimbledon, tennis players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at the US Open in late August.

In a statement released by the USTA, which owns and operates the US Open, the association renewed its condemnation of Russian president Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, but said that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

“We recognize that each organization has had to deal with unique circumstances that affect their decisions," the statement said. "Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 US Open.”

This means that Daniil Medvedev, who won the men's singles draw in 2021, will be able to defend his title.

Wimbledon remains the only Grand Slam to ban Russian players

Wimbledon, which starts in less than two weeks, made the decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian players in April. And since then, no other tournament has followed in its footsteps. All players were allowed to compete at the French Open earlier this month.

Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players was not a winner for the players themselves. Rafael Nadal, who won his record 22nd Grand Slam at the French Open, and Novak Djokovic both spoke out against it.

“I think it’s very unfair of (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues ... it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war,” Nadal said via the Associated Press. “I’m sorry for them.”

The WTA and the ATP also condemned the ban. On March 20, both tours announced that ranking points would not be awarded for Wimbledon. That essentially turns the Grand Slam into a two-week exhibition tournament with monetary prizes and a big trophy at the end.

While the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players wasn't popular in the tennis world, the New York Times reported that it's been supported by the British people. The Times also reported that the British government put pressure on Wimbledon's organizers to ban the players.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia to win the Men's Singles final match on Day Fourteen of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Daniil Medvedev won the US Open men's singles draw in 2021, and thanks to the USTA's decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the 2022 US Open, he'll be able to defend his title. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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