Wimbledon remains firm in its support of Ukraine in the war against Russia. Despite ATP’s and WTA’s demands that they allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete again, the players have found loopholes. AELTC’s plans for the Championships this year were announced along with a number of new rules.
It is not surprising that all players were told to show no support for Russia. The Championships went a step further and declared that the grounds of Wimbledon would be a “no-Russia” zone. They also decided to ban Wimbledon in Russia and Belarus.
The AELTC’s Chairman Ian Hewitt as well as the AELTC’s Chief Executive Sally Bolton confirmed that the Championships will not be broadcast in Russia or Belarus. The media and broadcasters in Russia and Belarus have all been cancelled. The Grand Slam organizers decided not to let their compatriots see the players play, despite the fact that the players were reluctantly welcomed.
This could be done to avoid embarrassing situations if a Russian or Belarusian wins the title. Aryna Sablalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, and former Major winners Victoria Azarenka and Daniil Medivedev will all be returning to the Championships and could be favourites. The Championships were won by Elena Rybakina last year. However, the focus was on her change of nationality. Wimbledon seems to have learned from its mistakes.
Wimbledon offers Russian and Belarussian players the ‘choice” to sign declarations prior to coming
Wimbledon announced a number of other policy changes in addition to the decision on broadcasting. AELTC did not show any interest in allowing the Russian and Belarusian player to participate at the Championships last year, by signing an agreement. AELTC has taken this into account and asked all players from both nations to sign the statement.
Bolton said at a press conference in London, on Monday, that the players have the option to sign a declaration. We’ve also spent considerable time with them to make sure they understand the commitments they are making.
Wimbledon’s security policy has been updated after the Melbourne debacle, where Novak Djokovic and his dad Srdjan were dragged in the Russian war-flag controversy. The organizers are concerned about any potential problems, as the Royal Family of England is often present at the Championships.
Our grounds entry terms and condition have been updated this year. This will prevent any Russian or Belarusian Flags from being brought into our grounds, as well as other symbols or signs that support the war or regimes. Every year, we update our security measures along with a threat risk assessment. Bolton said that the gate teams would be fully briefed about what is allowed and not allowed into the stadium ,”.
Wimbledon has done a good job of showing support for Ukraine and opposing Russia. AELTC has not yet reached the Championships, but it is determined to make sure that the fortnight runs smoothly.