‘Discrimination will never be tolerated’ – Sloane Stephens slams Wimbledon ban
Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens has slammed Wimbledon for it’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players stating that “discrimination will never be tolerated.”
Last month Wimbledon announced that the two Europeans nations players were to be banned from this year’s tournament due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ban means that the four Russian men in the top 30 in the ATP rankings and six Russian and Belarusian players in the top 32 of the WTA rankings, who would have been seeds at Wimbledon, are unable to compete.
The ban has been widely condemned by many key stakeholders in tennis including current players, coaches and even tennis’ governing bodies, with many calling for a strong response from the WTA and ATP to Wimbledon’s actions.
On Saturday, both the ATP and the WTA officially responded, stating that there will be no ranking points available at this year’s Summer Slam.
Following her opening round victory at the French Open, Sloane Stephens was asked about her thoughts on the actions of Wimbledon and the ATP as she said that the ban from Wimbledon is “discriminatory” and against everything the ATP and WTA Tours stand for.
The 29-year-old told reporters, “I think the decision that was taken was the correct one.
“I think that there are a lot of things that happened behind the scenes that the press are not aware of, and I think there has been a lot of mishandling of how everything was handled. We will just go from there.
“I mean, obviously I support our CEO, I support my council, I support the players. The decision that’s been taken obviously wasn’t taken lightly. I think when you are backed into a corner and that’s all you can do, I think that’s why the decision was made, and I support it.
“I can tell you that we worked really hard to try to make sure that everyone had a fair opportunity to play, and at the end of the day, that’s not what happened.
“I think a lot of players and people around were misinformed about what was happening and what was actually taking place in the weeks prior to a final decision being made.
“I think that’s a tad bit unfair, but it’s the world we live in. We live in social media. We live in people talking and tweeting and all this stuff. So it is what it is, but I think the decision that was made was the best one for the tour and for the players.”
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