Iga Swiatek believes tennis missed a possibility to ship a powerful 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 12 months however mentioned final week they’d now settle for them as impartial athletes.
The 2022 ban was the primary time in tennis gamers have been excluded from a match on the grounds of nationality because the post-World Conflict Two period, when German and Japanese gamers have been barred from the championships.
World No 1 Swiatek believes tennis “may do a bit higher”.
“After World Conflict 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 perhaps it is not price it,” the Pole instructed the BBC.
“We’re simply athletes, slightly piece on the planet, however sport is fairly necessary and sport has all the time been used for propaganda … Tennis, from the start, may do a bit higher in displaying all people that tennis gamers are towards the conflict.
“Tennis did not actually go that approach, however now it might be fairly unfair for Russian and Belarusian gamers to try this as a result of this resolution was presupposed to be made a 12 months 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 12 months’s Australian Open, has mentioned she struggled to grasp the “hate” within the locker room and Swiatek described the locker room environment as “fairly tense”.
“It isn’t their fault they’ve a passport like that … their scenario is fairly difficult, and it is arduous for them to talk out loud about it,” the 21-year-old added.
“Alternatively, all of us have some form of influence and something that may assist cease the Russian aggression, we should always go that approach when it comes to the selections the federations are making.”