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Andy Murray said he expects Wimbledon organisers to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the Grand Slam this year after they were banned in 2022 following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) barred players from the two countries from competing the grasscourt major in response to what Russia called a “special military operation” in Ukraine. Belarus has been a key staging area for the invasion.

The AELTC said barring players from the two countries was the only viable option under the guidance provided by the British government, but the move led to Wimbledon having its ranking points taken away by the men’s ATP and women’s WTA.

“It’s a really difficult one and I do feel for the players who weren’t able to play last year. But I also understand the situation and why it’s really hard for Wimbledon to make a call on it as well,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“My understanding is that they are going to be allowed to play and I’m not going to be going nuts if that is the case.

“But if Wimbledon went down another route I would be understanding of that.”

Murray received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award last year in recognition of his support for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine after the former world number one donated more than $630,000 of prize money he won in 2022.

The Briton had said last year that he had spoken to some of the Russian players and did not believe they were in favour of what was happening in Ukraine.

This year’s Wimbledon Championships are scheduled to run from July 3-16.

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