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Sabalenka: What Did Wimbledon Ban Change?

Wimbledon's ban was a waste that changed nothing Aryna Sabalenka says.

The grass-court Grand Slam banned Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 Championships in condemnation of Russia's unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

More: Reviewing an Emotional and Extraordinary 2022 Season

In response to Wimbledon's action, the ATP and WTA Tours stripped The Championships of ranking points.

In a new interview with Marc McGowan of The Age, 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Sabalenka said the tournament's ban was futile because it changed absolutely nothing as Russian forces continue to bombard Ukraine.

“I’m just really disappointed sport is somehow in politics. We’re just athletes playing their sport," Sabalenka told The Age. "That’s it. We’re not about politics.

"If all of us could do something, we would do it, but we have zero control. “They banned us from Wimbledon, and what did it change? Nothing – they’re still doing this, and this is the sad [part] of this situation.”

The fifth-ranked Belarusian said "no one supports war" and points out professional athletes have no influence over their government leaders' decisions.

“This is really terrible because no one supports war – no one,” Sabalenka said. “The problem is that we have to speak loud about that ... but why should we scream about that in every corner?

"It’s not going to help at all. We have zero control under this situation."

Photo credit: Getty