Victoria Azarenka has criticised Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players ©Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka is leading a call for action among Russian and Belarusian players after the countries' athletes were banned from competing at Wimbledon in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

On April 20, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) decided not to allow Russian and Belarusians to participate at the third Grand Slam of the year - a decision met with criticism from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women's Tennis Association (WTA), which have both allowed players from the nations to carry on playing on their respective tours as neutrals.

Belarus' former world number one Azarenka is a member of the WTA Players' Council and was on a conference call with Wimbledon's chief executive Sally Bolton and tournament director Jamie Baker who explained the AELTC's position to the impacted players.

"If you ask me if I agree with the decision of the organisers of Wimbledon or understand their arguments after a personal conversation with them, then I don’t understand their arguments," said Azarenka, as reported by Russian state-run news agency TASS.

"It makes no sense and is not related to what they say."

Another Belarusian player at the meeting brought a lawyer who specialises in human rights and discrimination onto the call, which could be an indication of possible lines of appeal further down the line.

"I don't know," said Azarenka when asked whether she was considering legal action, per TASS.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club announced its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from Wimbledon last month ©Getty Images
The All England Lawn Tennis Club announced its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from Wimbledon last month ©Getty Images

"A lot of people will be waiting to see what the consequences of those decisions are.

"I think based on that, individuals can make their own choices."

Players from the two nations have requested for Wimbledon to align with the French Open, which has announced it will allow them to compete as neutrals.

Both the WTA and ATP have held meetings this week where the Wimbledon ban was discussed.

There is still a possibility that the two could withdraw ranking points from this year's tournament.

"If they take points away many players are going to start being very angry," said Ukrainian player Dayana Yastremska, who has voiced support for Wimbledon's ban.

Men's world number two Daniil Medvedev, from the US Open champion, and world number eight Andrey Rublev are both Russian and among the stars set to miss Wimbledon.

Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka is the highest player in the women's rankings to be impacted, with the world number four reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year.