MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th December, 2022) The organizers of the Wimbledon tennis tournament may allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in 2023 after the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) fined the UK tennis governing bodies for banning these two countries from their competitions, The Telegraph reported.
On Wednesday, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) were fined $1 million by the ATP for banning Russian and Belarusian tennis players from participating in its competitions in response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. The ATP also threatened to exclude LTA tournaments from the ATP Tour if the Russians and Belarusians were not allowed to take part in Wimbledon in 2023.
The organizers of Wimbledon, the AELTC, do not want confrontation with the rest of the tennis community, the newspaper reported. They also fear that the exclusion of Russians and Belarusians from the tournament may lead to its depreciation. In addition, Russian tennis players do not publicly express a pro-Russian position, which may affect AELTC's decision.
In April, the AELTC refused to allow Russian and Belarusian tennis players to the 2022 tournament due to the situation in Ukraine. In response, the ATP and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) decided not to award ranking points to Wimbledon participants. In addition, the WTA fined LTA $750,000 and AELTC $250,000.