British tennis officials are set to allow players from Russia and Belarus to compete at Wimbledon 2023 and UK tournaments leading up to the Grand Slam, according to the latest reports.
As a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the AELTC and LTA banned Russian and Belarusian players from entering Wimbledon and other events in the country last year. The decision, largely made under the pressure from the UK government, didn’t sit well with the WTA and ATP.
The governing bodies of women’s and men’s tennis punished the British tennis officials by not awarding ranking points at the tournaments in question and imposing hefty fines. Despite these financial punishments, the LTA’s biggest concern is that tournaments leading up to Wimbledon could be lost forever. If the bans are not repeated this year, the fines will be halved, so there is also a big financial incentive to abandon the restrictions.
As reported by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, it is understood that the plan is for the bans to be removed in 2023: “All expectations suggest that the AELTC will lower the ban on Russians and Belarusians.” There will probably be a condition that players from those countries will need to sign a declaration testifying that they will not “promote or glorify” Vladimir Putin’s political decisions at the tournaments.