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Wimbledon was wrong to ban Russian and Belarus players after Moscow invaded Ukraine, US tennis star John McEnroe has claimed.

In April, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which organizes the major tournament, announced its decision to ban players from both countries.

Players affected included US Open men’s champion Daniil Medvedev and high-profile player Aryna Sabalenka.

Speaking on the decision, McEnroe said: “It was a mistake (to ban Russian and Belarusian players). I know it’s a very horrible, delicate and terrible situation, obviously, in Ukraine.”

The tennis great went on to say the situation was a ‘lose-lose’.

“Tennis players, we are like a brotherhood. We travel the world. And even though we speak different languages, there is a connection. And in a small way, it’s like a family. And we have to support each other. each other,” he added.

“It’s hard to see some of our best players not playing because of something they have nothing to do with. So hopefully that’s resolved. I don’t know. But it’s a bad situation.”

This month, Wimbledon had its world ranking points stripped for banning Russian and Belarusian players.

The ATP, in charge of men’s football, said it acted with “great regret and reluctance” but that “discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable”.

Meanwhile, women’s tennis governing body the WTA also said it was stripping the event of its points.

He said players “should not be penalized or prevented from competing solely because of their nationality or the decisions made by the governments of their countries”.

Christi C. Elwood