Wimbledon reluctantly admits Russian and Belarusian players this summer

Centre court, Wimbledon/Shutterstock Images

In April 2022 Wimbledon banned players from Russia and Belarus following the Ukraine invasion but has made the decision to allow players from these countries to compete in this summer´s tournament.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said this decision was being taken reluctantly and under pressure from the rest of the sport which has chosen to stay away from bans.

 In a statement according to the Daily Mail: We continue to condemn totally Russia‘s illegal invasion and our wholehearted support remains with the people of Ukraine..

‘This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted.

‘It is our view that, considering all factors, these are the most appropriate arrangements for The Championships for this year.

‘We are thankful for the Government’s support as we and our fellow tennis stakeholder bodies have navigated this complex matter and agreed on conditions we believe are workable.

‘If circumstances change materially between now and the commencement of The Championships, we will consider and respond accordingly.’

 The decision comes under the  threat of further fines and sanctions from the two tours, which was described as ‘a very disappointing reaction’ by the All England Club.

The change of heart is the result of a surprisingly hard line taken by the WTA and ATP Tours to protect the principle of its global membership being able to compete irrespective of their government’s sins.

The British game found itself isolated within the tennis fraternity over the decision to bar them from competing a year ago.

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