Martina Navratilova Miami Open 2015

‘It’s the wrong decision’ – Navratilova brands Wimbledon ban ‘unfair to the whole world’

Grand Slam legend Martina Navratilova has condemned the controversial Wimbledon ban on Russian and Belarusian players, branding the sanctions “unfair to the whole world”. 

Wimbledon announced their decision on Wednesday, that due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to take part in the prestigious tournament in June.

The All England Club have become the first tennis tournament to issue direct sanctions towards the players from the two countries.

The ban means that players such as US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, world number four Aryna Sabalenka and world number eight Andrey Rublev will not be allowed to compete.

In response to the SW19’s ban, the ATP have spoken out against Wimbledon’s plans claiming the sanctions to be “unfair” and have called for players to be allowed to play but not under the flag of their respective nations.

In light of the ban, nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has claimed it was the “wrong decision” by the All England Tennis Club to ban Russian and Belarusian players, believing that the ban should not be aimed at an individual level.

“I understand the banning of teams, of course, representing the countries, but on an individual level, I just think it’s wrong” she said in an exclusive interview with LBC.

“It is a big ask of players that had nothing to do with this, that actually have taken a chance of speaking out against the war to ask them for more, I think it is unfair. It’s unfair to the whole world. There is so much bad going on this is not helpful. I don’t see it as a good step in the right direction.” she continued.

“Exclusion like this is through no fault of these players, It is not the way to go I don’t think. I think this is further than it needed to be.”

Martina Navratilova then went on to discuss the ban being overturned, believing that now the decision has been made, it will not be changed.

“I would like to believe that but I think it is too late for that. The horses have left the barn. I think it is more difficult to reverse this.”

Navratilova also took aim at those who came to the decision to ban the players.

“I feel a lot of these decisions are made in a vacuum where they don’t take input from people who are affected by this. They need to find a better solution than this.”

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