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Kremlin fires back at Wimbledon with own tournament proposal

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Moscow have hit back at the ban made by Wimbledon by proposing a serious change of plan for the Kremlin Cup.  

Last week Wimbledon announced that due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both Russian and Belarusian players were to be banned from this years tournament.

The sanctions mean that the US Open champion and world number two Daniil Medvedev and world number four Aryna Sabalenka are not currently able to compete.

In addition to these top seeds, there are three more Russian men in the top 30 of the ATP rankings, and six Russian and Belarusian players in the top 32 of the WTA rankings who would have been seeds at Wimbledon.

The announcement has sparked widespread controversy and a huge backlash, with many current players, coaches and legends of the game slamming the decision.

World number one Novak Djokovic labelled the sanction as “crazy” whereas Russia’s Andrey Rublev branded the ban as “discriminatory”.

The ATP and WTA have both condemned the decision, with the two governing bodies meeting in Madrid to discuss their response to Wimbledon’s announcement – with the hopes of turning Wimbledon into an ‘exhibition event’.

In response to the ban made by Wimbledon, Kremlin Cup organisers are set to announce that certain nations will be excluded from the tournament.

The Kremlin Cup has taken place annually in Moscow since 1990, but in March this year, the ATP and WTA announced that the 2022 version would be scrapped amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to Serbian media outlet Blic, Russian tennis authorities plan to strike back by going ahead with the Kremlin Cup, but only invite players from six nations.

The outlet also stated that players from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan would be invited to compete as well as Russian and Belarusian players.

Bilic also suggested the tournament could go on as originally planned anyway, were the conflict to end beforehand.

“There is still a lot of time until October, when this tournament is being held, and everyone hopes that the war in Ukraine will end as soon as possible, that all athletes will have the right to compete unhindered.”

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