Novak Djokovic is Wimbledon champion for a seventh time


  • Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing in 2022
  • Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam to do so last year
  • The All England Club tournament will go underway on July 3

Wimbledon will reportedly remove its ban on Russian and Belarusian players ahead of the 2023 edition. The likes of Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka will be allowed to compete at The Championships.

Players from the two said countries will be able to return to the All England Lawn Tennis Club but under strict conditions and could be forced out if they express support for Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, reported Daily Mail. However, an official confirmation from Wimbledon is still awaited.

Wimbledon's strict conditions

The players from Russia and Belarus will be asked to compete in Wimbledon as neutral athletes with no mention of their country or flag, a rule that has been in order across tennis tournaments since last March. Russians and Belarusian players could also be expected to sign a Code of Conduct prior to Wimbledon this summer, with severe penalties for those who break the agreement.

Wimbledon's code is believed to be in the words of "any explicit show of support for Russia, such as carrying a flag or talking positively about the country" would lead to punishment, including potentially being kicked out of the competition. The Championships will also supposedly ban Russian flags and any symbols from the grounds.

This comes after the Australian Open did the same in January after a Ukrainian ambassador complained about a Russian flag being on show during a match between Ukraine's Kateryna Baindl and Russian Kamilla Rakhimova on the opening day of the Melbourne Grand Slam. During the tournament, police were also called after a few fans slid in with Russian flags and wore 'Z' t-shirts.

Meanwhile, at the Australian Open earlier this year, Novak Djokovic's father was caught in the middle of a controversy when he was seen posing alongside some protestors wearing a "Z" symbol shirt while waving a Russian flag with a large picture of Putin's face.

However, the eventual champion Djokovic, later urged that his dad was "misused" as he and his family would "never support any violence or any war."

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts

Former World No. 1 Medvedev, who is currently playing in the Indian Wells Masters, has said he will respect whatever decision Wimbledon makes in regards to Russian players' participation at the All England Club tournament this year amid his home country's ongoing invasion of neighbours Ukraine.

"I've said it so many times, I'm not going to say anything new. I'm for peace. "I'm not going to make this decision for them or even help them make this decision. They have to make it by themselves for their different reasons like they did last year," Medvedev told reporters at the Indian Wells tournament in Southern California.

The one-time Grand Slam winner went on to add that he will "respect" the decision as he believes tennis is his "job" and he'll play wherever he'll be allowed. While he'll be "really happy to play Wimbledon" as he "absolutely loves the tournament," he would be OK to miss if "it's not meant to be" but will "wait for the opportunity to be back there."

Meanwhile, former World No. 1 Andy Murray gave a neutral reaction to Wimbledon's decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to return to the tournament.

"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 said in an interview.

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam last year to refuse players from Russia and its ally Belarus. The All England Club is not expected to announce their final decision until their spring press conference next month.