Wimbledon Championships 2021

Wimbledon confirm new initiative to support Ukraine after reversing ban on Russian players

Wimbledon have reiterated their support for Ukraine despite the decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the Championships this year.

Last year Wimbledon incurred the wrath of the ATP and WTA by opting to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing due to Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine.

That decision cost them their ranking points, with governing bodies claiming it broke Grand Slams discrimination rules, but tournament officials stuck to their guns with the full support of the British government.

They have already announced Russian and Belarusian players will be able to play this year, albeit under a neutral flag, meaning their ranking points will be restored. Now they have elaborated on the thinking behind that decision, as well as confirming a new initiative to strengthen their support to the Ukraine.

“Our announcement was made last month after careful and deep consideration,” Wimbledon Chairman Ian Hewitt said. “At the time, we set out the factors which informed our decision and why, taking all circumstances into account, we consider these to be the appropriate arrangements for Wimbledon this year.

“It was a difficult and challenging decision, which was made with the full support of our UK Government and the international stakeholder bodies in tennis, but does not lessen in any way our total condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

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“We are pleased to share that, in partnership with the LTA, we will donate to Ukrainian relief one pound for each ticketholder at The Championships this year, which will result in a contribution of more than half a million pounds.

“We will again work with Merton and Wandsworth Councils, and the British Red Cross, to invite 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to join us for a day at Wimbledon, including tickets, food and drink, and transport.

“For the Ukrainian players, the All England Club and the LTA will fund the accommodation costs of two rooms for all Main Draw and Qualifying players for the entirety of the grass court season.

“Those players will also be offered the opportunity to practise at either the All England Club’s courts or via the LTA at the Surbiton courts between their last match at Roland-Garros and the Saturday prior to Qualifying week at Wimbledon.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.