It was officially decided on April 20th. Russian and Belarusian tennis players have been officially banned from the Wimbledon grass classic. The organizers have now officially spoken out and defended the decision. Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), emphasized on Tuesday that there was “no viable alternative”. Before the exclusion, there was a discussion about allowing tennis professionals from Russia and Belarus to participate with a statement against the war in Ukraine. But this option also fell through. According to Hewitt, there was a risk that “their success would have been used to the advantage of the Russian regime’s propaganda machine.”
The third Grand Slam tournament of the year takes place from June 27th to July 10th. Wimbledon is the first event to ban tennis pros because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This affects, for example, the world number two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and the two-time Grand Slam tournament winner Victoria Asarenka from Belarus.
The two professional organizations ATP and WTA had criticized the decision and could possibly take consequences. So it is in the room that no world ranking points will be awarded for Wimbledon this year. A decision could be made at meetings in Madrid this week. “We do not participate in speculation,” said AELTC Managing Director Sally Bolton.