What’s new at Wimbledon 2023?
If one keeps track of every established elite tournament in world sport, it’s easy to identify the odd man out – the one that has changed the least since its inception.
Wimbledon has long been known to ferociously defend its traditions – a large part of its enduring appeal. But the tournament does make small changes, occasionally.
The 2023 edition is a little different from the previous ones. From the inclusion of players from certain countries to changing the dress code for a good reason, here’s what you can expect.
Return of Russians and Belarusians
It is likely the headline change at this year’s Wimbledon. Unlike last season, players from the two currently controversial countries are allowed to compete in the tournament.
The decision to ban them last year in line with Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine was a controversial one. It also proved to be costly as Wimbledon got stripped of its ranking points.
The change means stars like Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev, Victoria Azarenka, and Karen Khachanov are free to return to SW19.
The Championships’ regulations have come more in line with that of the ATP and WTA, in that the players can compete but must do so under a neutral flag.
Continued Condemnation Of Invasion
The AELTC have reiterated their support for the war-ravaged nation, though. All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt highlighted the careful and deep consideration behind their announcement.
In addition, Ukrainian relief will receive one pound for each ticketholder at the tournament this year, bringing in a contribution of over half a million pounds.
1,000 Ukrainian refugees will also get to enjoy a day at Wimbledon, with tickets, transport, food and drink. Moreover, the All England Club will fund the accommodation costs for Ukrainian players.
Change In Dress Code To Reduce Anxiety
Traditionalists might start panicking. But this change is for a good reason. The Wimbledon dress code will change for 2023, although the alterations will be quite minor.
While the all-white attire is sort of the general image of the Championships and looks great on the cameras as well, it has often caused anxiety for women around their menstrual period.
This year, women and girls will have the option of wearing coloured undershorts if they want. The change is expected to help players focus purely on their performance.