Russia's two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev is set to compete at next year's Australian Open ©Getty Images

Tournament director Craig Tiley has confirmed that Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to compete as neutrals at next year's Australian Open.

Players from the two nations were barred from participating at Wimbledon in response to the war in Ukraine but the move resulted in the event being stripped of its ranking points by tennis authorities.

The French Open and US Open featured Russian and Belarusian competitors but under a neutral status in line with the stance taken by the Women’s Tennis Association, Association of Tennis Professionals and International Tennis Federations.

Tiley said the Australian Open would be taking the same approach - a decision which will be welcomed by the likes of Russian star Daniil Medvedev, who reached the men’s singles final in 2021 and 2022.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said Russian and Belarusian players would be
Tournament director Craig Tiley said Russian and Belarusian players would be "welcome" in Melbourne but would be unable to compete under their country's flag ©Getty Images

"At this point, Russian and Belarusian players will be eligible to play at the Australian Open," said Tiley.

"The only difference will be that they cannot represent Russia - they cannot represent the flag of Russia.

"They cannot participate in any activity such as the anthem of Russia and they have to play as independent players under a neutral name.

"But they will be welcome to the Australian Open in January."

Tiley, who is also chief executive of Tennis Australia, added that there were plans for a fundraising event to be held during the Australian Open to support Ukrainians affected by the war.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from January 16 to 29 at Melbourne Park.