Russian and Belarusian players won't be able to take part in next week's Prague Open, as confirmed by the organizers of the event on Friday.
The WTA 250 event has been going on for over a decade now and mostly saw native Czech players dominate it. It was played on clay for many years but shifted to hard courts recently, which allowed some players to score deep runs.
Anastasia Potapova, for example, played in the final last year, but the Russian won't be able to take part this year as the country banned all players from Russia and Belarus from attending. AP news is reporting that the event organizers confirmed the news on Friday after reports of the country not allowing a Russian player to enter it.
There weren't any reports as to which player wasn't allowed entry, but in total, four players will be barred from playing at the event. Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, Erika Andreeva, Diana Shnaider, and Polina Kudermetova were the Russians on the entry list.
The ban is a country-wide ban preventing players from those countries from competing on the territory of the Czech Republic. It was a direct response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It's not the first time we're seeing this, as last week Vera Zvonareva was prevented from entering Poland to take part in the Poland Open.
It's a bit different from the Wimbledon situation, which wasn't a country-wide ban but rather one from the tennis governing body on the recommendation from the country. This comes directly from the government, so there is very little the WTA can do.