Andy Murray - Australian Open 2023

Andy Murray provides update on Russian participation at Wimbledon this year

Andy Murray has revealed how he ‘understands’ the situation surrounding Russian and Belarusian’s playing Wimbledon this year, after they were banned in 2022 due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Murray was critical of the decision at the time, “I’m not supportive of players getting banned.”

He continued, “The guidance from the government was not helpful. My understanding of the guidance was that Russian’s and Belarusian’s can play if they sign a declaration that they’re against the war and against the Russian regime.”

However, he admitted that he did understand both sides of the argument, “I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel if something happened to one of the players or their families [as a result]. I don’t think there’s a right answer. I have spoken to some of the Russian players, I’ve spoken to some of the Ukrainian players.”

“I feel really bad for the players who aren’t allowed to play and I get that it will seem unfair to them, but I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon, and I know how difficult a position they were in. I feel for everyone, feel for the players that can’t play, and I don’t support one side or the other.”

Murray, as a two-time Wimbledon champion, spoke of his insider knowledge back then and has since given an update as to his ‘understanding’ of the current situation for The Championships this year, “It’s a really difficult one and I do feel for the players who weren’t able to play last year, but I also understand the situation and why it’s really hard for Wimbledon to make a call on it as well.”

He added, “My understanding is that they are going to be allowed to play and I’m not going to be going nuts if that is the case. But if Wimbledon went down another route I would be understanding of that.”

Murray has shown lots of support to Ukraine over the past year, donating $630,000 (£510,000) of his prize money to Unicef, that resulted in the Brit receiving the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

There have been reports that the ATP and WTA have offered a financial incentive to Wimbledon and the LTA for allowing Russian and Belarusian players, as well as threatening further punishments if they do not.

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.