Does Roger Federer get a Wimbledon wild card?
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 11669
Only a few hours ago the highly anticipated Wimbledon verdict arrived, which concerns the possibility of playing for Russian and Belarusian tennis players, after the ban of the poor season. But that's not the only news. As sensationally revealed by the organizers of the tournament and shared on the social accounts of the All England club, Wimbledon would have offered a wild card to Roger Federer, to play one last tournament right on the lawns of Church Road.
The note explains: "Wimblendon is the home of the greatest tennis player in history, and a wild-card for Mr. Roger Federer will always be guaranteed if he wants to play. We have forwarded our proposal to Mr. Federer."
Wimbledon admits Russians and Belarusians
After the entry ban imposed in 2022, Wimbledon will welcome back Russian and Belarusian tennis players this year, albeit as neutral athletes.
The tournament board said: "Our current intention is to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players, provided they compete as neutral athletes and meet the appropriate conditions.
These will prohibit expressions of support for the Russian invasion in various forms and will ban the entry of players who receive funding from Russian and/or Belarusian states (including sponsorship from state-owned or controlled companies).
The conditions have been carefully developed through constructive dialogue with the UK Government, the LTA and international tennis stakeholder bodies and are in line with government published guidelines for sporting bodies in the UK.
The player personal statement option was not feasible in our view last year. Since then, extensive engagement with government and tennis stakeholder bodies has clarified and developed the form of the declarations and produced workable measures for their implementation and enforcement.
This approach has the full backing of the government and the LTA, ATP, WTA and ITF. There has been a strong and very disappointing reaction from some tennis governing bodies to the stance taken by the All England Club and LTA last year with consequences which, if continued, would have been detrimental to the interests of players, fans, The Championships and British tennis.
Tennis events outside the UK experienced a year of competition with players from Russia and Belarus competing as neutral athletes. We also believe that alignment between Grand Slams is increasingly important in the current tennis environment." The decision, however, found strong opposition from Ukraine in the person of its Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who expressed his disappointment via social media: "Wimbledon's decision to allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian players is immoral.
Has Russia ceased its aggression or atrocities? No, it's just that Wimbledon has decided to host two accomplices in the crime. I ask the British government to deny visas to the players."
If you have read the article to the end, yes, you have been the victim of an April Fool's!