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25 Jan, 2023 14:24

Tennis chief expects Russian participation at Wimbledon

Russian players were banned from the English Grand Slam event last year
Tennis chief expects Russian participation at Wimbledon

A ban on Russian players playing at Wimbledon will be reversed this year, Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) president Shamil Tarpishchev predicts.

In 2022, the organizers of the annual grass court Grand Slam event, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), announced a blanket ban on players from both Russia and Belarus due to the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine.

This meant that highly ranked players such as the Russian duo of Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, as well as the Belarusian female player Aryna Sabalenka, were prohibited from competing at the event.

The ban came in contrast to measures imposed by other events, such as the US Open which permitted Russian participants so long as they competed under a neutral flag.

As a result of the Wimbledon ban, the governing bodies of male and female tennis, the ATP and WTA as well as the International Tennis Federation, withdrew ranking points from the event, prompting significant disruption to the rankings system and effectively rendering the event an exhibition tournament.

But according to Tarpishchev, no such restrictions will be imposed this year.

We will participate,” he said via RIA Novosti.

There is no doubt. The position of the ITF is that athletes are selected purely by rating, and not by nationality in relation to all tournaments in different countries of the world. 

Everything else will be a violation by the organizers and no one else.”

Despite the ban, last year’s women’s singles category at Wimbledon was won by the Moscow-born Elena Rybakina, who has represented Kazakhstan on the international stage since she was 19.