Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev won US Open 21Getty Images
The USTA is expected to confirm that “no politically motivated bans will be applied to the player field” at the upcoming US Open, according to London TELEGRAPH’s Simon Briggs. One of the main differences between the decisions of the USTA and the All England Club is that there were “no instructions from the United States government to limit opportunities for Russian sports propaganda”. In the UK, on the other hand, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston had “expressed the government’s desire to avoid Russian victories at Wimbledon for fear of giving Vladimir Putin positive public relations”. While USTA board members were “open to discussing options”, “the hardline stance of the two professional tours – the ATP and WTA – had to be a factor in their final decision” . Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is “still expected to be unable to attend” the event, as there are “no plans to relax US immigration rules that require incoming travelers to have been vaccinated against Covid” (London Telegraph, 6/14).
SIGNIFICANT INCREASE: In London, Stuart Fraser notes that Serena Williams has announced that she “will play at Wimbledon”. It is a “significant boost” for Wimbledon organizers in a year when “no ranking points will be offered”. Last month’s ATP and WTA tours “robbed the championships of points in retaliation for banning players from Russia and Belarus as the invasion of Ukraine continues”. It had “seen some players calling Wimbledon an ‘exhibition'”, but Williams’ appearance shows “how prestigious the world’s oldest tennis tournament remains even without ranking points” (LONDON TIMES, 6/14).