Russia, Belarus Tennis Athletes Forced To Play Under Neutral Flags In U.S. Open

Mike McNulty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, shared the association’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“Tennis has done much through Tennis Plays for Peace for humanitarian support of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the need for help only continues to grow. The USTA will be responding very soon with a broad set of initiatives that will include significant financial assistance and other programs to further support humanitarian relief and the people of Ukraine,” he said.

The move comes after Russia was restricted from two international team events in tennis in which it was the reigning champion, the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup.

Wimbledon, which begins June 27, announced in April that it would ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes. The move barred men’s top-ranked player, Russian Daniil Medvedev, from the competition.

The USTA’s approach has also been different from other athletics organizations. Some sports, such as soccer’s World Cup, have completely banned Russia from competition.

The USTA also announced plans to offer additional financial assistance for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The association intends to use the U.S. Open as a platform to raise awareness about the war.

“This is a horrific situation and we, along with everyone else in tennis, absolutely condemn what is an unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and everything is framed in that context,” U.S. Tennis Association CEO and Executive Director Lew Sherr said. “As difficult as some of these decisions may be, none of it amounts to the difficulties being experienced in Ukraine right now, and the tragedies and atrocities.”


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