Belarus star in Wimbledon doubt as visa ‘hasn’t been approved’ after ban lifted

Aryna Sabalenka has revealed that she still hasn’t had her visa to enter the UK approved to play Wimbledon. It comes after the All England Club lifted their ban on Russian and Belarusian stars – allowing the world No 2 to compete at SW19 again. But Sabalenka is now having trouble trying to enter the country so she can play.

Sabalenka is still waiting to learn whether she can compete at Wimbledon despite the club lifting its ban on Russian and Belarusian players. Although the 25-year-old has been given the green light by the AELTC, she is now facing trouble with her visa.

The Australian Open champion hosted a Q&A on her Instagram stories on Tuesday and was asked whether she was excited to play at SW19 again. But her answer was a surprising one, as Sabalenka still faced issues entering the country.

“Still didn’t get my visa to be approved…” she responded. It is not yet known whether Sabalenka’s visa has been rejected or if she is still waiting on a response.

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At the end of March, the AELTC announced that its ban on Russian and Belarusian players would be lifted for 2023 after they were barred from competing in last year’s Championships. All players from the two nations who wish to enter the draw must sign neutrality agreements.

“The conditions have been carefully developed through constructive dialogue with the UK Government, the LTA and international stakeholder bodies in tennis, and are aligned with the Government’s published guidance to sporting bodies in the UK,” the club said.

As part of the declarations, players from Russia and Belarus agree to play as neutrals with no mention of their flag or country – as they currently do on the tennis tours year-round. The agreement also prohibits “expressions of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in various forms.”

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