Wimbledon’s Russia and Belarus player ban to be lifted, according to Andy Murray
Andy Murray believes Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year, although the former world No 1 admits that “I’m not be going nuts if that is the case”.
Following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in February last year, the All England Club and Lawn Tennis Association took a hard-line stance as they barred Russian and Belarusian players from competing at all grass-court tournaments in the United Kingdom – including Wimbledon.
It resulted in a tit-for-tat battle with the powers that be as the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation condemned the move and the ATP and WTA stripped Wimbledon of ranking points.
The LTA was also hit with fines and warned that if the ban stays in place this year then they could be stripped of their license to host events – including Queen’s Club, Birmingham and Eastbourne.
The organisation has warned that if they do lose those events then tennis will it will have a big knock-on effect on tennis in the UK and could the sport’s future in doubt.
However, it appears the status quo will return as Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete this year with three-time Grand Slam winner admitting the All England Club finds itself between a rock and a hard place.
“It’s a really difficult one and I do feel for the players who weren’t able to play last year – but I also understand the situation and why it’s really hard for Wimbledon to make a call on it as well,” he told BBC Sport.
“My understanding is that they are going to be allowed to play and I’m not going to be going nuts if that is the case.
“But if Wimbledon went down another route I would be understanding of that.”
Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina were some of the big-name players to miss out on playing at Wimbledon last year due to the ban.
It also meant winners Novak Djokovic and Elena Rybakina as well as runners-up Nick Kyrgios and Ons Jabeur missed out on big points hauls due to the decision to strip Wimbledon of points.
While the likes of Djokovic has urged the powers that be to drop the ban, Ukrainian and former world No 3 Elina Svitolina believes the banning of players from the two countries are the correct decision.
READ MORE: ATP Chief repeats opposition to Russian player ban at Wimbledon
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