Russian players will be allowed to take part in Wimbledon this year but Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is not expecting the All England Club to roll out the red carpet for them.
Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarter-finals at the French Open on Sunday – a performance that would normally open the door for a wild-card entry at Wimbledon next month.
But the 31-year-old is set to miss Wimbledon because she is not currently ranked high enough to get into the main draw or qualifying.
Do you think after the situation last year they would give me a wild card this year?
Pavlyuchenkova is a former French Open finalist but was sidelined long term following knee surgery.
She is showing strong form in Paris and was asked whether she could seek a wild card.
Pavlyuchenkova said incredulously: “Are you serious? Do you think after the situation last year they would give me a wild card this year?”
Wimbledon announced in March that it had lifted its ban which prevented athletes from Russian and Belarus playing last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“No grass season for me this year,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who will face world No 1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek for a place in the last four in Paris, three years after reaching the final.
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.
If it was not for her nationality, Andreeva could have been a strong candidate for a Wimbledon wild card based on her performance in Paris.
“I didn’t play on grass yet,” she said. “It can be my first time. I’m excited about it because I have never tried it. So, if I can go there, we will see what I can do.”
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka has also spoken about not having received her visa while world No 2 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.”
Source : Sky Sports