Victoria Azarenka will no longer compete in Wednesday’s fundraising exhibition for Ukraine after anger from Ukrainian players finally reached the attention of US Open organisers.

Officials made a last-minute call to ease the double Australian Open winner from Belarus out of the charity event,due to Belarus helping Russia with the costly invasion of Ukraine.

The decision came on Ukrainian independence days as well as the six-month mark in Russia’s stumbling incursion.

The US-based Azarenka has been copping flak for months due her dictator-run country’s support role in the invasion.

“In the last 24 hours, after careful consideration and dialogue with all parties involved, Victoria Azarenka will not be participating in our “Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition” this evening,” the USTA said in a statement.

“Vika is a strong player leader and we appreciate her willingness to participate. Given the sensitivities of Ukrainian players, and the on-going conflict, we believe this is the right course of action for us.”

Ukrainian players led by 72nd-ranked Marta Kostyuk have been complaining about the choice of Azarenka for a few weeks once the lineup was known.

Other less controversial participants are to include WTA No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Rafa Nadal, John McEnroe and others.

Only last week a female Ukrainian supporter waving a blue-and-yellow national flag was turfed out of a WTA match between two Russian players after complaints from one of the competitors.

WTA and Cincinnati officials never explained the illogic of the decision, which merely led to peaceful protests outside the gate of the suburban venue.

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