Murray ‘won’t go nuts’ if Wimbledon scraps Russia ban
Andy Murray said he “wouldn’t go crazy” if Russian and Belarusian players were allowed to play at Wimbledon this year, although the British tennis great would have mixed feelings about their return.
Murray, 35, received ATP’s 2022 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award after donating more than £500,000 ($592,000, €562,000) in prize money to help children in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion, but has previously said that “does not support” the latter. year of ban.
But reports in the UK media last week suggested that the ban was about to be lifted, with three-time major tournament winner Murray telling the BBC: “It’s really difficult and I sympathize with the players who couldn’t play last year. but I also understand the situation and why it’s really hard for Wimbledon to make a call.”
The Scot added: “I understand that they will be allowed to play and I’m not going to go crazy if that’s the case.
“But if Wimbledon had gone the other way, I would have understood that.”
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the ruling British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has faced pressure from the British government to impose a ban.
Russian and Belarusian players were eventually banned from all five LTA organized ATP tournaments, including the long-running Queen’s Club event in London.
A similar suspension was imposed by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which administers Wimbledon.
The ATP, which hosts the men’s professional tour, responded to last year’s ban by imposing a $1 million fine on British tennis, split between a $750,000 penalty for the LTA and a $250,000 fine for the AELTC.
Both the ATP and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) also stripped Wimbledon of ranking points.
Ironically, the women’s singles title was won by Russia-born Yelena Rybakina, representing Kazakhstan.
There are now fears that if the ban remains in place, flagship events such as Queen’s and Eastbourne could be removed from the UK, incurring even greater fines.
None of the other three Grand Slam tournaments in Australia, France and the United States has introduced such bans.
Players from Russia and Belarus also continue to participate in the tours, although they are prohibited from playing under the name or flag of their country.
This year, Wimbledon takes place from 3 to 16 July.
jdg / ivd