Russian Tennis Federation to hold Kremlin Cup in defiance of governing bodies

In an act of defiance, it appears that Russia intends to hold this year’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow with or without approval from the sports governing body.

The combined event was scheduled to take place later this year but has been suspended by both the ATP and WTA as part of the sport's response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The country’s federation has also been banned from participating in team events by the ITF and players must compete under a neutral status. The penalty has also been issued to Belarus who are suspected of supporting Russia in the conflict.

However, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) has vowed to hold the Kremlin Cup in 2022, even if it is in a very different situation compared to previous editions. Shamil Tarpischev said:

“There will be no full-fledged Kremlin Cup. We will make an open championship of Russia in the same time frame from our athletes and athletes from friendly countries. The focus will be on Russian players."

Tarpischev was asked whether the RTF would hold any future tennis events in the disputed breakaway Donbas Region that Russia recognized and his response was:

“I think it’s quite realistic. An interesting idea, but this, of course, needs to be coordinated with ATP for a long time. First they must give the go-ahead. There is common sense in this – the development of tennis in the regions. We have already held tournaments in Khanty-Mansiysk. If we are allowed to organize competitions in the DPR, then it will, of course, be possible to implement.”

No date was given about when the RTF’s Kremlin Cup will take place in 2022.

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ATP Kremlin Cup

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