Russian and Belarusian Wimbledon spots in doubt as they experience visa delays
Russian and Belarusian players are experiencing delays in obtaining UK visas in time for Wimbledon.
The All England Club and the Lawn Tennis Association reversed last year’s ban on competitors from the two countries following the invasion of Ukraine but there appears a chance some may not make it anyway.
Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva is due to make her Wimbledon debut in qualifying but said after losing to Coco Gauff in the third round in Paris on Saturday that she was still waiting to be granted a visa.
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka has also spoken about not having received her visa while world number two Daniil Medvedev pointedly said “if I’m able to come to UK to play Wimbledon” when talking about the grass-court season.
The Home Office is carrying out additional checks on Russian and Belarusian nationals, extending a wait that is currently at least six weeks, while fast-track options are not available to people from the two countries.
Wimbledon begins on July 3 and, speaking after reaching the French Open quarter-finals, Russian Karen Khachanov, who still has a visa from previous years, said: “I heard that it takes much longer to issue the visa.”
Under normal circumstances, Andreeva would be a strong candidate for a Wimbledon wild card, but it appears hugely unlikely the All England Club would offer such help at the moment.
Fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, meanwhile, is set to miss the tournament because she is not currently ranked high enough to get into the main draw or qualifying.
Pavlyuchenkova is a former French Open finalist but was sidelined long term following knee surgery.
Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 runner-up, became the first woman through to the French Open quarter-finals after rallying from a set and a break down to dump out Belgian 28th seed Elise Mertens 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 herself fresh off a big win over Jessica Pegula.
The Russian, whose ranking has plunged to 333 after the serious knee injury kept her sidelined for months, and she is the lowest-ranked Grand Slam quarter-finalist since the 2017 US Open.
Pavlyuchenkova will take on Karolina Muchova for a place in the last four after the Czech saw off lucky loser Elina Avanesyan 6-4, 6-3.
She is showing strong form in Paris, in making it through to the quarter-finals, but when she was asked whether she could seek a Wimbledon wildcard she scoffed.
Pavlyuchenkova said incredulously: “Are you serious? Do you think after the situation last year they would give me a wildcard this year?”
Novak Djokovic makes French Open admission about potential last Rafael Nadal showdown
Novak Djokovic has discussed the prospect of playing his last match against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal looks set to play Australian Open as travel plans revealed in big comeback update
Rafael Nadal’s travel plans ahead of the 2024 season have been finalised, according to a report.
‘Jannik Sinner is a millimetre from Novak Djokovic – Nole fears him’, claims Slam winner
A French Open winner thinks Jannik Sinner has almost reached Novak Djokovic’s level.
Why the return of Sky Sports will provide a massive profile boost for tennis in the UK
Kevin Palmer explains why the return of tennis to Sky Sports will be good for the sport in the UK and Ireland.
Boris Becker highlights four young ATP stars ‘you will hear a lot from in the coming year’
Boris Becker has named the four leading young ATP players.
ITIA confirms Novak Djokovic did not refuse doping test at Davis Cup Finals
The ITIA has explained why Novak Djokovic did not break anti-doping protocol at the Davis Cup Finals.
WATCH: ‘Terrible singer’ Leylah Fernandez’s hilarious karaoke version of Journey classic
Have fun listening to Leylah Fernandez ‘signing’ Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.
The 13 WTA players whose last title was remarkably a Grand Slam: Coco Gauff, Emma Raducanu and more…
There are four active players whose last title was a Grand Slam.
Jannik Sinner underlines Darren Cahill’s key contribution to his sensational growth
Jannik Sinner praises Darren Cahill for giving him confidence.
‘Mr Novak Djokovic must be suspended. You don’t have the right to refuse testing’
Novak Djokovic under fire for refusing to provide a sample before one of his matches.