The invasion of Ukraine is constant to have an effect on the tennis world at this yr’s Australian Open.
Gamers from Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete at Melbourne Park, however solely as impartial gamers not underneath the identify or flag of their nation.
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“Gamers from Russia and Belarus are solely capable of compete in worldwide tennis occasions as people – and with out flags or nation recognition – which would be the case for Australian Open 2023,” Tennis Australia mentioned in a press release to WWOS.
“Tennis Australia stands united with the worldwide governing our bodies of tennis – the grand slams, the ATP and WTA Excursions and the ITF – in its condemnation of Russia’s actions and its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” it mentioned.
“The governing our bodies of tennis issued a press release in March 2022 expressing shock, misery and unhappiness, together with a pledge to supply ongoing assist for the folks of Ukraine.
A number of high gamers are affected by the flag ban, together with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina and a star Belarusian duo — World No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
Eagle-eyed viewers seen the small squares on the TV protection often occupied by the flag of a participant’s nation had been as an alternative empty white areas for Russian and Belarusian gamers.
A clean house additionally seems subsequent to their names on the listing of match outcomes on Google.
Final yr’s runner-up Danielle Collins beat Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in a troublesome three-setter within the first spherical, however watching the sport on TV, you wouldn’t have identified which nation Kalinskaya was from.
There was additionally an empty house subsequent to Azarenka’s identify throughout her match towards Sofia Kenin.
On the lads’s aspect, gun gamers who gained’t have a flag subsequent to their identify embrace Russian contender Daniil Medvedev and his countrymen Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov.