Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to continue competing under a neutral flag but both countries have been barred from the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

Tennis’ governing bodies have stopped short of following other sports by preventing athletes from both countries competing following the invasion of Ukraine.

But players, including new men’s world No.1 Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, and women’s No.2 Arnya Sabalenka, of Belarus, must compete under a neutral flag until further notice and the Russian and Belarus Tennis Federations have both been suspended by the International Tennis Federation.

That means, as things stand, Russian teams will not be able to defend their Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles later this year, while Belarus’ Davis Cup play-off against Mexico – scheduled for this weekend – will not take place.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin Cup, a joint WTA and ATP tournament due to be held in Moscow in October, has been suspended.

A joint statement from the governing bodies read: “A deep sense of distress, shock and sadness has been felt across the entire tennis community following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the past week.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.

“The safety of the tennis community is our most immediate collective priority.

“The focus of the WTA and ATP in particular in recent days has been on contacting current and former players and other members of the tennis community from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, to check on their safety and offer any assistance.

“The international governing bodies of tennis stand united in our condemnation of Russia’s actions.”

Former player Sergiy Stakhovsky, whose most famous result was beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, has travelled to Ukraine to join the resistance effort.

He told BBC Radio Four: “I know how to use the gun. If I’ll have to, I’ll have to. I’m still not sure how I’ve done it.

“I know that it’s extremely hard on my wife. My kids don’t know that I’m here. They don’t understand war. They’re too little to understand what’s going on.”