Russian flag on show at Aus Open as Ukraine ambassador wants action

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The Ukranian ambassador to Australia and New Zealand has called for action after a Russian flag was displayed at Melbourne Park today. Russian and Belarussian players were banned from Wimbledon after the invasion of Ukraine but can play in Australia under a neutral flag.

Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl beat Russian Kamilla Rakhimova 7-5 6-7 6-1 at the Australian Open on Monday.

But Vasyl Myroshnychenko posted a picture of the Russian flag on social media and said: “I strongly condemn the public display of the Russian flag during the game of the Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Baindl at the Australian Open today. I call on Tennis Australia to immediately enforce its “neutral flag” policy.”

Former Ukrainian pro Sergiy Stakhovsky – who retired at last year’s Australian Open – also reposted two photos of the flag on his Twitter account and simply wrote: “…….”

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It comes after Tennis Australia doubled-down on its decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the Australian Open, albeit as neutral athletes in line with the regulations set out by the ATP, WTA, ITF and four Grand Slams last match. “At this point, Russian and Belarusian players will be eligible to play in the Australian Open,” Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said earlier this month.

“The only difference will be that they cannot represent Russia. They cannot represent the flag of Russia. They cannot participate in any activity such as the anthem of Russia. And they have to play as independent players under a neutral name. But they will be welcome to the Australian Open in January.”

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