Iga Swiatek believes tennis missed a chance to ship a robust message to Moscow by failing to impose a ban on gamers from Russia and Belarus.
Wimbledon was the one Grand Slam to ban gamers in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr however stated final week they might now settle for them as impartial athletes.
The 2022 ban was the primary time in tennis gamers had been excluded from a event on the grounds of nationality for the reason that post-World Warfare Two period, when German and Japanese gamers had been barred from the championships.
World No 1 Swiatek believes tennis “may do a bit higher”.
“After World Warfare Two, German gamers weren’t allowed in addition to Japanese and Italian [players], and I really feel like this type of factor would present the Russian authorities that possibly it is not price it,” the Pole advised the BBC.
“We’re simply athletes, slightly piece on this planet, however sport is fairly vital and sport has at all times been used for propaganda … Tennis, from the start, may do a bit higher in exhibiting all people that tennis gamers are towards the conflict.
“Tennis did not actually go that method, however now it could be fairly unfair for Russian and Belarusian gamers to try this as a result of this choice was presupposed to be made a yr in the past.”
Gamers from Russia and Belarus have been competing on the excursions and at different Grand Slams as impartial athletes since 2022.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who gained this yr’s Australian Open, has stated she struggled to know the “hate” within the locker room and Swiatek described the locker room environment as “fairly tense”.
“It is not their fault they’ve a passport like that … their scenario is fairly sophisticated, and it is laborious for them to talk out loud about it,” the 21-year-old added.
“Then again, all of us have some form of impression and something that will assist cease the Russian aggression, we must always go that method when it comes to the selections the federations are making.”