Serena Williams ex-coach strongly opposes Wimbledon ban – Leave politics to politicians

Wimbledon: Martina Navratilova ‘devastated’ by ban

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Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou has slammed the choice made by Wimbledon officials to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing at the 2022 Championships. Mouratoglou, who now coaches two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep, labelled it a ‘shocking decision’. 

On Wednesday, Wimbledon announced Russian and Belarusian players will be barred from taking part in the prestigious tournament, which begins in June. It means the likes of US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, World No 4 Aryna Sabalenka and World No 8 Andrey Rublev will not be playing the grass-court Grand Slam.

After Wimbledon announced the ban, the ATP declared the tournament’s sanctions are ‘unfair’, suggesting the players should be allowed to play but not under the flag of their nations. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou has joined the furious uproar, insisting players from the nations have done enough to prove they oppose the war in Ukraine. 

Mouratoglou, who coached Williams from 2012 to 2022, condemned the controversial decision. “Banning Russian and Belarusian players from playing at Wimbledon is a very shocking decision for me,” he told Tennis Majors. “Leave the politics to the politicians. Of course, there is a war. Everyone is against the war, including players from Russia and Belarus.

“I understand the position of the Ukrainian players because there is war in their country, they have friends, family, who have been killed or who fear being killed tomorrow. I understand that they want very strong points from Russian and Belarusian players.

“Now, if you’re in their shoes, Russians and Belarusians, they have their families living in Russia and by saying something like that, like condemning the government, they are potentially putting their own family in trouble.

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“So, I think Russian players and Belarusian players have said a lot already!

“They don’t literally say it, but they say it. So I think that is the most they can do without taking any risks, too much risk for their own families.”

Mouratoglou is not the only figure to speak out against the decision by Wimbledon. World No 1 Novak Djokovic labelled the tournament’s decision ‘crazy’ while 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova believes the sanction was ‘the wrong decision’. 

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