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LTA’s fine for banning players contributes to operating losses of £9.5million

The Lawn Tennis Association’s fine for banning Russian and Belarusian players from last year’s grass-court season contributed to operating losses of £9.5million in 2022.

The governing body did not allow Russians or Belarusians to play at Wimbledon or any of the warm-up tournaments in Nottingham, Birmingham, Eastbourne or at Queen’s following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

It was subsequently hit with a £1.4m fine by the ATP and WTA and a warning that it could be stripped of hosting future events.

The staging of the Billie Jean King Cup finals and the Davis Cup finals group stage was also a big factor in the losses, alongside societal issues such as inflation.

Despite those losses, the LTA has continued to invest in grassroots tennis, which led to a 43 per cent rise in participants, with over 5.2million adults playing.

That is the highest number since the LTA began the survey, with 2022 seeing participation growing in all areas of the country and in all demographics.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “2022 was a year of real achievement for British tennis at both the grassroots and top professional level. We made strong progress against our plans for delivering on our five-year strategy to open tennis up and achieved a number of our objectives a year early.

“There were challenges throughout the year, but we have tried to ensure the sport is thriving at all levels, continued to raise the visibility of the sport and have given our British players the best possible support.

“Although the financial picture was challenging this year, taken as a whole, the past four years have resulted in a loss of £6.4m despite the pandemic, volatility in world markets and unforeseen factors such as the fines from the ATP and WTA – whilst during this time we delivered significant growth for the sport.

“We are continuing to invest across the length and breadth of the sport this year and, as well as many other initiatives, will be renovating thousands of public park courts across the country in partnership with the LTA Tennis Foundation and UK Government.”

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