Wimbledon tournament director backs stance to ban Russian and Belarusian players, claims it was "the only viable option"

As a "global institution", Wimbledon had to take a stance and apply a ban on players from Russia and Belarus, says tournament director Jamie Baker.

The move, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has led to a removal of ranking points from governing bodies the ATP and WTA. Men's World No.1 Daniil Medvedev is not present and many players have expressed frustration with the ban.

"We had to make a decision, a very hard one," Baker told BBC Scotland. "Just because we made the decision doesn't mean that we don't really feel heavily the consequences for the players that are not here.

"Banning players is not a position that I would ever want to be in but, as I've been saying to a lot of people in the players' lounge, we don't have the luxury of just being able to debate this over dinner and then walk away and go to bed."

Wimbledon imposed the ban in April to "limit Russia's global influence" as per UK government policy, but the ATP later said this "undermined" its principle that all players can "enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination".

"In this situation, there aren't any winners," added Baker, the former British Davis Cup player from Glasgow who made five first round appearances at Wimbledon between 2006-12.

"As a global institution and a really fundamental part of the British establishment, we found ourselves in a position where we've got a really clear response and position from the UK government. We also have the knowledge of the platform that Wimbledon has and the responsibility that comes with that.

"Putting all of those considerations into the mix, we found ourselves in a place where we felt that the decision we have made was the only viable option."

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