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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Nadal and Djokovic criticise Wimbledon’s ban on Russian players

Nadal and Djokovic blast Wimbledon's ban on Russian players.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic criticized Wimbledon’s judgment to exclude Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament.
  • The All England Club’s decision, made public on April 20, has been publicly chastised by both the ATP and WTA tennis tours.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic criticized Wimbledon’s choice to exclude Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament.

Wimbledon had acted unfairly, according to the two tennis legends.

“I think it’s not fair of (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues… it’s not their fault what’s going on with the war right now,” Nadal, a 21-time Grand Slam winner, said in Spain, where he and Djokovic are preparing to play in the Madrid Open.

“I’m sorry for them,” Nadal expressed his regret. “Wimbledon just did what they wanted to do… the government didn’t force them to.”

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“Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks if the players make any decision in that regard,” Nadal added.

Both the ATP as well as WTA tennis tours have publicly chastised the All England Club’s decision, which was made public on April 20.

Wimbledon will begin on June 27.

The ban affects prominent players from Russia, including reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and also¬†French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, who has aided Russian forces, would also be unable to compete.

Nadal and Djokovic blast Wimbledon's ban on Russian players.
Nadal and Djokovic blast Wimbledon’s ban on Russian players. Image from The Bridge

Djokovic reached the condition of the excluded players that he faced when he was unable to contend in the Australian Open in January. He was deported from Australia for not having received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s not the same thing,” Djokovic said, “but having gone through something similar earlier this year, it’s frustrating not being able to play.” “I haven’t changed my mind about my opposition to the (Wimbledon) decision. It’s not right, and it’s not fair, but it is what it is.”

In a statement first shared on Twitter, the All England Club defended its actions.

“It would be inappropriate for the Russian regime to derive any advantages from the engagement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships in the context of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression,” the statement said.

Source: CTV News

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