U.S. Open tennis to allow Russia, Belarus players only under neutral flag



The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) on Tuesday said it will allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in this year's U.S. Open, but only under a neutral flag.

"We recognize that each organization has had to deal with unique circumstances that affect their decisions. Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 U.S. Open," the USTA said in a statement.

The association added that it will cooperate with both the men's and women's tours – ATP and WTA – to continue promoting humanitarian relief efforts for the crisis in Ukraine.

The USTA's announcement means Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that has banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing following Russia's military operations in Ukraine which began in late February.

The main-draw play for Wimbledon, which has been criticized by the WTA and ATP professional tennis tours for its decision, starts on June 27.

It also means current men's world number one Daniil Medvedev, who won his maiden Grand Slam at the event, will get a chance to defend his title.

The U.S. Open will take place from August 29 in New York.