Jul 28, 2023

Russian Player Denied Entry for Prague WTA Event

The Czech Republic government approved a resolution at the end of June banning athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing in events on Czech territory.

Czech police stopped a Russian tennis player from entering the country ahead of the WTA Prague Open tournament, organizers said on Friday, July 28.

A new government resolution bans athletes from Russia or Belarus caused the event to scratch other competitors.

The tournament’s organisers did not disclose the player’s name but three Russians were due to participate: Diana Maximovna Shnaider, Polina Kudermetova, and Erika Aleksandrovna Andreeva.

The Prague Open starts on Monday, July 31, and was expected to see a handful of Russian and Belarusian players, including Evgeniya Rodina of Russia or Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, competing as neutrals, without any national flag or symbol.

But the government approved a resolution at the end of June banning athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing in events on Czech territory, allowing police to revoke visas to those nationals.

Tournament director Miroslav Maly said police had stopped one Prague Open participant from entering the country on Thursday and organizers informed other Russian and Belarusian nationals not to travel for the tournament after the incident.

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Last week, Russian tennis player Vera Zvonareva was banned from entering Poland for a WTA tournament in Warsaw.

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