Murray won’t go mad if Wimbledon lifts Russia ban

LONDON: Andy Murray has said he will “not freak out” if Russian and Belarusian players are allowed to attend this year’s Wimbledon, although the British tennis great would have mixed feelings about her return.

Murray, 35, received the ATP’s 2022 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award after donating more than £500,000 (US$592,000) in prize money to help children in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion were one year ban.

But British media reports last week suggested the ban should be lifted, and three-time Major winner Murray told the BBC: “It’s really difficult and I sympathize with the players who couldn’t play last year – but I understand them too situation and why it’s really difficult for Wimbledon to get involved in it too.”

The Scot added: “My understanding is they are allowed to play and I won’t go mad if that’s the case.

“But if Wimbledon were to go a different route, I would understand that.”

Following last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, Britain’s ruling Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) came under pressure from the UK government to impose a ban.

Russian and Belarusian players were eventually banned from all five ATP tournaments hosted by the LTA, including the long-running Queen’s Club event in London.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which operates Wimbledon, imposed a similar suspension.

The ATP, which hosts the men’s professional tour, responded to last year’s ban by fining British tennis $1 million, split between a $750,000 penalty for the LTA and a penalty of $250,000 for the AELTC.

Both the ATP and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) also stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points.

Ironically, the women’s singles title was won by Russian-born Elena Rybakina for Kazakhstan.

There are now fears that if the ban stays in place, leading events such as Queen’s and Eastbourne could be removed from the UK, with even more heavy fines to follow.

None of the sport’s three other Grand Slams in Australia, France and the United States have imposed similar bans.

Players from Russia and Belarus also continue to perform at Tour events, although they are prevented from competing under their country’s name or flag.

This year’s Wimbledon takes place from July 3rd to 16th. -AFP Murray won’t go mad if Wimbledon lifts Russia ban

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