Alexander Bublik Wimbledon 2017

Wimbledon ‘have the right’ to ban Russians, says Alexander Bublik

World number 32 Alexander Bublik believes that tennis’ governing bodies and tournaments, such as Wimbledon, “have the right” to ban players, yet believes that politics and sports should not be intertwined. 

Last week, The All England Club (AELTC) and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced that due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at grass-court events in the United Kingdom, which includes Wimbledon.

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 debate and controversy, with many current players, coaches and legends of the game slamming the decision.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev branded the ban as “discriminatory”, with top coach Patrick Mouratoglou stating that the ‘politics should be left to the politicians’.

The ATP and WTA also widely condemned the ban, with the ATP labelling it as discrimination and the WTA promising ‘a strong reaction’ in it’s response to the sanction by Wimbledon.

Despite the heated backlash, the AELTC and LTA have held firm believing they have made “the most responsible decision possible.” by banning the two countries from the UK tournaments.

Russian-born Alexander Bublik has now weighed in on the debate believing that the organizers can do whatever they choose, but has argued that tennis is about entertainment and not politics.

Speaking to Eurosport, Bublik told reporters, “I don’t want to judge whether it’s right or wrong, but I’ll be happy to tell you what I think about it.

“It is a decision of the government and the organizers. You have the right to do so.

“For me, sport is also a distraction from normal life, if you will – and no sport should be mixed up too much with politics.

“It’s all about getting comfortable with a beer in front of the TV and following your favourite player or team. It’s a great pity for the fans that this is now limited.

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