Wimbledon to allow Russian and Belarusian players BACK at SW19

Wimbledon will hold peace talks with the ATP and WTA this week as they look to ease tensions by re-admitting Russian and Belarusian players this summer after controversial 2022 call to ban them

  • Wimbledon’s chief executive is set to try to end tennis’ civil war in talks this week
  • Sally Bolton is poised to confirm the return of Russians and Belarusians to SW19 
  • Tournament controversially banned players last year due to the war in Ukraine

Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton will hold peace talks with her counterparts at the ATP and WTA this week to confirm the return of Russian and Belarusian players this summer and bring an end to the civil war that was divided tennis. 

Sportsmail revealed earlier this month that Wimbledon were set to overturn their controversial ban on Russians and Belarusians from SW19, a decision which will be confirmed in talks between Bolton, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi and WTA chief executive Steve Simon.

Wimbledon’s unilateral move to ban Russians last year had profound consequences for British tennis. 

Both the ATP and WTA issued fines of £820,000 to the Lawn Tennis Association and world ranking points were removed from last summer’s Championships. 

The LTA were also threatened with expulsion from the male and women’s tours and the loss of lucrative pre-Wimbledon events such as Queen’s, Edgbaston and Eastbourne, which would have cost the sport up to £20m.

Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton is set to hold peace talks this week which are set to end the civil war in tennis and confirm the return of Russian and Belarusian players to SW19

Last year, they were banned from the historic tournament due to the ongoing war in Ukraine

But players from both countries are set to return to south-west London for 2023’s competition

Russian Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka both missed out on 2022’s edition

Wimbledon have already made the call to welcome back Russians to SW19 after receiving backing from the government.

This week’s talks are likely to focus on how that decision will be presented and whether any restrictions will be placed on those players who do take part. 

Officials at the All England Club are determined to ensure that Russian athletes are seen to be competing as individuals rather than for their country.

And as previously reported by Sportsmail they could be asked to sign a Code of Conduct with strict sanctions in place if they express any support for Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Wimbledon’s decision to overturn the ban will be welcomed by the rest of the sport, particularly the LTA, who generate almost 30 per cent of their annual income from staging those grass-court events each summer.

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