The All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete in the 2023 Wimbledon from July 3rd to 16th.
Despite the title suggesting it will be simple it's really not because there is a condition. Athletes from both nations must sign declarations of neutrality and cannot express support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, players receiving state funding from either nation will remain barred from competing. The same restrictions will apply to other LTA events, including Queen's during the Grass court swing.
Previously, Wimbledon was prohibited from awarding ranking points and faced heavy fines due to their ban last year which forced their hand this year. This meant that Elena Rybakina, a current Grand Slam champion, didn't get any points for her effort. Novak Djokovic on the men's side suffered the same fate but that will be changing this year.
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, emphasized the organization's condemnation of Russia's invasion and expressed solidarity with the people of Ukraine. He acknowledged that the decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to participate was a difficult one and that it was made after careful consideration of the various factors involved.
In the official statement, Hewitt said:
This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted. It is our view that, considering all factors, these are the most appropriate arrangements for the Championships for this year. We are thankful for the Government’s support as we and our fellow tennis stakeholder bodies have navigated this complex matter and agreed on conditions we believe are workable. ‘If circumstances change materially between now and the commencement of the Championships, we will consider and respond accordingly.