Thursday, February 9, 2023

Russian and Belarusian flags banned from Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – Russian and Belarusian flags were banned from Australian Open venues on Tuesday after more than one was seen in the stands on the first day of the year’s first Grand Slam.

Flags can usually be flown at Melbourne Park matches. But Tennis Australia changed policy for both countries involved in the invasion of Ukraine about a year ago.

“Our initial policy was that fans could bring (flags), but not use them to obstruct,” Tennis Australia said in a statement. “Yesterday we had an incident with a flag outside the ground. We will continue to work with the players and our fans to ensure that we have the best environment to enjoy tennis.”

A Russian flag was raised during Ukraine’s Katerina Bendal’s 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-1 win over Russia’s Kamila Rakhimova on Court 14 in the first round.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia was offered another autograph in his 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 win over Marcos Giron at Rod Laver Arena.

Last year, athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned from Wimbledon and events such as the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup because of the war in Ukraine. In February Russia invaded with the help of Belarus.

Russian and Belarusian tennis players have been allowed to participate in the year’s other three Grand Slams as “neutral” athletes so that their nationalities are not recognized in any official calendar or results and flags are displayed at the events. television graphics.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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