Top tennis officials in Great Britain are concerned that banning Russian and Belarusian players for a second consecutive year could potentially lead to the nation being banned from hosting events and losing Queen’s and Eastbourne, according to a report from The Daily Mail.
Last year, the ATP, WTA and ITF were all highly critical of Wimbledon’s decision to impose player bans on Russian and Belarusian players. Shortly after the AELTC banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing at Wimbledon, the LTA also announced that Russian and Belarusian players were banned from all events taking place on British soil.
The ATP and WTA have made it perfectly clear that they don’t want the same situation in 2023 and they have warned the AELTC and LTA that the same offense could result in a way more severe punishment. “The LTA, which owns these, is currently in danger of full suspension from staging events if the ban is repeated.
Now there is the implicit threat that, should the licenses be withdrawn, these will be placed for sale on the open market and bought by overseas federations or investors and played elsewhere,” Mike Dickson of The Daily Mail wrote.
What will Wimbledon do with Russian, Belarusian players?
One of the biggest names of the game such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal criticized Wimbledon for their decision as they felt that it was “unfair” not to allow certain players to compete just because of their nationality.
Andrey Rublev, the top-ranked Russian male tennis player, recently said that banning Russian and Belarusian players again will only “damage tennis.” “We had a meeting with the Grand Slams and the ATP. It’s really good that ATP is more open to help everyone.
We were very honest, giving a lot of options, many ways to help. Really help. Because, if they ban us for the second year, we will see no changes and will be worst for tennis. Only we make more fire in the tennis. And it doesn’t help the situation.
We are offering help in any direction that is possible. We want to show that tennis can be bigger than politics,” Rublev told CLAY.