Nadal, Djokovic and Murray slam Wimbledon choice to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes

The three gamers — who’ve received 10 Wimbledon titles between them — joined the likes of the ATP and WTA of their opposition to the ban.

“I believe it’s totally unfair (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues,” Nadal stated in a press convention on Sunday forward of the Mutua Madrid Open. “It is not their fault what’s occurring on this second with the conflict.

“I am sorry for them, Wimbledon simply took their choice … the federal government did not drive them to do it. Let’s have a look at what occurs within the subsequent weeks, if the gamers will take some type of choice in that regard.”

Ukrainian gamers have largely supported Wimbledon’s ban, and Sergiy Stakhovsky — who retired earlier this yr and has since joined the Ukrainian military to defend his homeland — condemned Nadal’s stance.

“@RafaelNadal we competed collectively.. we have performed one another on tour,” Stakhovsky wrote on Twitter. “Please inform me how it’s truthful that Ukrainian gamers can’t return residence? How it’s truthful that Ukrainian youngsters can’t play tennis? How is it truthful that Ukrainians are dying ?”

The All England Garden Tennis Membership’s (AETLC) choice marks the primary time that Russian and Belarusian gamers have been banned from an elite tennis occasion following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

A number of high-profile gamers could be unable to compete, together with the lads’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and the ladies’s world No. four Aryna Sabalenka.

Murray, who’s donating all of his prize cash this season to humanitarian reduction in Ukraine, stated that he was “not supportive” of the plan to ban Russian and Belarusian gamers from Wimbledon however added that there was no “proper reply” to the tough state of affairs.

“My understanding of the steerage was that Russians and Belarusians can play in the event that they signal a declaration that they are in opposition to the conflict and in opposition to the Russian regime,” he stated to journalists on the Madrid Open.

“I am unsure how comfy I might really feel if one thing occurred to one of many gamers or their households (because of this).”

Within the days following their invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s parliament handed a regulation mandating jail phrases of as much as 15 years for spreading deliberately “faux” information in regards to the navy, vastly rising the dangers for particular person Russians talking out in opposition to the conflict.

The current US Open champion, Daniil Medvedev, is unable to compete at WImbledon this year.
Djokovic, in the meantime, referenced his exclusion from the Australian Open for not being vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 as he voiced his opposition to the ban for a second time.

“It is not the identical factor, however going by way of one thing related earlier this yr for myself, it is irritating understanding that you just’re not in a position to play,” Djokovic stated. “I nonetheless stand by my place that I do not assist the (Wimbledon) choice. I believe it is simply not truthful, it isn’t proper, however it’s what it’s.”

Following criticism from the tennis world, the AELTC defended their choice in a press convention final week.

“Even when we had been to simply accept entries from Russian and Belarusian gamers with written declarations, we might danger their success or participation at Wimbledon getting used to profit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which we couldn’t settle for,” match chairman Ian Hewitt informed reporters final Tuesday.

The gamers haven’t but introduced a coordinated response, however the ATP and WTA are reportedly discussing countermeasures that would embrace the elimination of rating factors from Wimbledon.

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