‘Wimbledon chiefs fuming’ after WTA ‘secretly’ fine AELTC and LTA for banning Russian players

Daniil Medvedev plays a shot

The tension between the All England Tennis Club (AELTC) and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has escalated after the two organisations were fined for banning Russian and Belarusian players from all grass-court tournaments, including Wimbledon.

There has been a strained relationship between the organisations, as well as the ATP, following the decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus on the back of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in February.

The ATP and WTA then retaliated by stripping Wimbledon of all ranking points although LTA-organised events were allowed to keep their points.

But there has been a fresh twist as Sportsmail reports that “the WTA has secretly fined the Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club £620,000 and £207,000 respectively as a punishment for excluding Russian and Belarusian players from the warm-up tournaments in Eastbourne, Nottingham and Birmingham”.

Britain’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told the paper that the two organisations should have been praised for their decision.

“Regrettably the international tennis federations appear determined to be outcasts in this,” she said. “The LTA and Wimbledon should be praised for their move to make Russia an international sporting pariah, and doing what is right in the current circumstances.”

AELTC and the LTA are set to appeal against the fines and they have the backing of the government, but they will only be able to go down that route once they have paid the fine.

“The WTA will only permit an appeal once the fine has been paid in full, leaving the British authorities no option but to shell out over £827,000 before they can mount their defence,” the report added.