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US Open tennis to allow Russia, Belarus players under neutral flag

FILE - Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 12, 2022. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

FILE - Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 12, 2022. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Published Jun 14, 2022

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New York — Players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete in the 2022 US Open, but only under a neutral flag, the US Tennis Association announced on Tuesday.

The move comes after the Grand Slams, the International Tennis Federation and the ATP and WTA Tours all condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus.

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The USTA supported the ban of Russia and Belarus from international team competitions and the directive to have players from those nations compete under a neutral flag in other competitions.

"The USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 US Open," the organization said in a statement.

"The USTA will work with the players and both tours to use the US Open as a platform to further the humanitarian effort of the 'Tennis Plays for Peace' program."

The USTA also said it would introduce initiatives to help ongoing Ukrainian humanitarian efforts.

"Unfortunately, the need for help only continues to grow," said USTA president Mike McNulty.

"The USTA will be responding very soon with a broad set of initiatives that will include significant financial assistance and other programs to further support humanitarian relief and the people of Ukraine."

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AFP

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