Wimbledon to appeal against WTA fine for banning players over Ukraine war

Wimbledon and the LTA are to appeal against hefty fines imposed on them by the Women’s Tennis Association for their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players this year in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Club, confirmed on Monday that Wimbledon has begun appeal proceedings against its fine, of $750,000, while the LTA, which also banned Russian and Belarusian players from Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne in the build up to the Championships, is understood to be appealing against its $250,000 fine.

“We have appealed. It is the subject of a legal process,” Bolton told a briefing at Wimbledon on Monday. “We [Wimbledon and the LTA] are separate organisations, so we have been fined separately and we are addressing it separately.”

In response to Wimbledon’s decision to enforce the ban on Russian and Belarusians, which meant players such as the men’s world No 1, Daniil Medvedev, could not play, the WTA and the men’s governing body, the Association of Tennis Professionals decided to remove ranking points from Wimbledon. It is not known if the ATP is also to issue fines of its own against Wimbledon and/or the LTA.

Wimbledon “stand by the decision we made”, Bolton said. “We’re deeply disappointed at the reaction of the tours to that decision. We thought really long and hard about that decision. It was an incredibly difficult and challenging decision to make. It was not taken lightly. We thought carefully about the ramifications of taking it. But it was absolutely the right decision.

“For us, it was the only viable option in the context of the government guidance in place. We accept that others will take a different view, but we absolutely stand by the decision.”