Wimbledon balls

Wimbledon: What is new at The Championships in 2023?

For all Wimbledon likes to ferociously defend its traditions, it does occasionally make small changes. Here is what’s new for 2023.

If you were to track the development of every established elite tournament in world sport, we are pretty sure that Wimbledon would be the one that has changed the least since its inception.

That is, of course, a large part of its enduring appeal. With its pristine white kits and almost total rejection of courtside sponsorship, Wimbledon is a throwback by design.

Although it sometimes doesn’t feel like it, things do change at Wimbledon, though, and the 2023 edition will be a little different to the rest. Here is what you can expect.

Return of Russian and Belarusian players

The headline change at Wimbledon for this year will be that, unlike last season, players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at The Championships. The decision to ban them last year in solidarity with the Ukrainian people was a controversial one. It was also a costly one, with Wimbledon being stripped of its ranking points as a result.

There will be no repeat this time, and that means stars like Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Victoria Azarenka and Karen Khachanov are free to return to SW19, although the latter is injured. Wimbledon’s policy has come more into line with that of the ATP and WTA, in that the players are free to compete but must do so under a neutral flag. The AELTC have reiterated their support for Ukraine, though.

“Our announcement was made after careful and deep consideration, All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt explained. “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.

“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.

Daniil Medvedev - Wimbledon 2021

“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.”

Dress code

The Wimbledon dress code will change for 2023, but before the traditionalists start panicking, the changes will be very minor and for very good reason.

While the all-white attire looks great for the cameras and the general image of Wimbledon, it has always caused a lot of anxiety for women around their menstrual period. The All England club have move to try and alleviate some of that stress this year by adjusting the rules that govern what players can wear on court.

“Women and girls competing at The Championships will have the option of wearing coloured undershorts if they choose,” Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Club, said explained. “It is our hope that this rule adjustment will help players focus purely on their performance by relieving a potential source of anxiety.”

Increased capacity

Wimbledon tickets 2023

Wimbledon is one of the most attended sporting events on the planet and, as anyone who has lost out in the annual ticket ballet will tell you, demand outstrips availability by in insurmountable margin. While 515,164 spectators streamed through the grounds in 2022, tens of thousands were left unable to get tickets. The Championships have attempted to help alleviate that this year.

Improvements and investments in the grounds have allowed them to increase the daily spectator capacity of 3,000. Much of that is down to the construction of a new 700-seat show court in a central location withing the venue, with the practice courts relocated as a result. Visitors will also be able to take advantage of a new Wimbledon Shop kiosk on site, while players can enjoy refurbished dressing rooms and gym.

The Southern Village has also been expanded to include a new big screen, deck chairs and improved food options. Meanwhile, a new entry gate will be opened in an attempt to ease the flow of spectators into the grounds and reduce queue times.

Schedule changes

After decades of operating in isolation, the four Grand Slams have made moves in recent years to establish some degree of uniformity. That is best evidenced by the changes in the final set tiebreaker rules in recent years, with best-of-ten tiebreakers used for the first time at The Championships in 2022.

That quest for uniformity will continue in 2023, with the men’s doubles format shortened from best-of-five to best-of-three. In addition, fans can expect to hear coaching going on during the matches with Wimbledon participating in a Tours-wide trial of what they call ‘off-court coaching.’ That name is a little misleading, though, as it essentially means coaching is now allowed during matches.

There will also be a minor scheduling tweak to the much-loved Wheelchair and Quad Wheelchair events. They have traditionally started on the Thursday of the first week, but from 2023 that start date has been brought forward by a day to allow players greater time to rest and recover. The finals have also been moved from their usual start-time of 1pm on No.1 Court to 11am in an effort to increase the profile and visibility of the events.

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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.