Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina thinks that the All England Lawn Tennis Club made a reasonable move by lifting the ban on Russian and Belarusian players this year. According to the Moscow-born Kazakhstani, it is the right decision that tournaments on UK soil will apply the same conditions as other events on the calendar, allowing players from Russia and Belarus to compete under a neutral flag.
Unlike Rybakina, newly-crowned Miami Open champion Petra Kvitova is against this reversal:
“I’m really appreciating that Wimbledon didn’t take them last year.”
In 2022, players from Russia and Belarus were not allowed to play Wimbledon and other British grass-court events. The WTA and ATP didn’t welcome this decision to sanction players based on nationality, fined the Lawn Tennis Association and stripped Wimbledon of ranking points, effectively reducing the sport’s most prestigious tournament to an exhibition event. To prevent further damage to tennis in the UK, the All England Club made an “incredibly difficult” decision to reverse its ban. (source: Reuters)