Australian Open ‘will welcome Russian and Belarusian players’ in 2023 declares tournament chief
The 2023 Australian Open will welcome Russian and Belarusian players to compete in January, aligning with the decision of this year’s French Open and US Open.
Craig Tiley, chief of Tennis Australia and tournament director of the Australian Open, suggested athletes from the two countries will be allowed to play the tournament beginning 16th January next year.
However, he did specify that Tennis Australia will stick to the restrictions laid out by the ATP and WTA so far in 2022 regarding representation.
“At this point, Russian and Belarusian players will be eligible to play in the Australian Open,” he said. “The only difference will be that they cannot represent Russia. They cannot represent the flag of Russia.
“They cannot participate in any activity such as the anthem of Russia. And they have to play as independent players under a neutral name. But they will be welcome to the Australian Open in January.”
Players benefitting include two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev, world number nine Andrey Rublev and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, Wimbledon was the only Slam that opted to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing there. As a result, the ATP and WTA stripped the event of ranking points in retaliation.
The French Open and US Open either side of SW19 went ahead as usual. As with ATP and WTA events, players from Russia and Belarus competed under as neutrals, not as representatives for their nation. However, both nations are still banned from competing in the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF. In addition, the Russian Tennis Federation are defending champions in both events.
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