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?”
Patrick Mouratoglou’s academy accused of ‘giving substances’ to junior players amid Simona Halep saga
“I played at the Mouratoglou Academy. It is true, from a young age, athletes are given some substances.”
Andy Murray ‘proud’ as he snaps losing streak despite injury scare
“The last few months have been really tough on the court for me.”
Stan Wawrinka sends Rafael Nadal ‘danger’ warning and makes French Open claim
“He has won so many times at Roland Garros that he will always be the favourite.”
Jannik Sinner gives telling insight into his champion mentality with Australian Open revelation
“I immediately thought about how I could improve further. I asked myself why I ended up down two sets to zero.”
Juan Carlos Ferrero highlights difference between coaching Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev
“With Carlos, I was able to cook a player who already obviously had impressive characteristics.”
What Aryna Sabalenka’s shock Dubai defeat means for WTA Rankings battle with Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek looking comfortable at No 1 in the WTA Rankings after Aryna Sabalenka’s defeat.
Jannik Sinner asked if he is currently ‘the one to beat’ in tennis
Jannik Sinner names his four main rivals and talks about his world No 1 prospects.
Rafael Nadal gives big hint that he is ready to return to action after latest injury setback
Rafael Nadal looks set to return to action in a couple of weeks.
Naomi Osaka’s rivals warned she is going to be a danger – ‘People were too quick to get down on Naomi’
Tennis commentator “delighted” that Naomi Osaka has bounced back so quickly.
How Jannik Sinner’s title run after maiden Grand Slam compares to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
Jannik Sinner has ended the 23-year curse.