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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal took concern with Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian gamers from the second tennis main occasion of the season over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus siding with the Kremlin.
No. 2 males’s participant Daniil Medvedev, present U.S. Open males’s singles champion, is amongst these affected by a ban. Aryna Sabalenka, the No. four ladies’s participant who’s from Belarus, can also be banned.
“I feel it’s very unfair of (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues … it’s not their fault what’s occurring on this second with the warfare,” Nadal stated in Spain, the place he and the Serbian tennis star are on the brink of play on the Madrid Open.
He added: “I’m sorry for them. Wimbledon simply took their resolution … the federal government didn’t pressure them to do it. Let’s see what occurs within the subsequent weeks, if the gamers will take some type of resolution in that regard.”
Djokovic in contrast the scenario to when he was banned from the Australian Open and the nation of Australia for not being vaccinated towards the coronavirus.
“It’s not the identical factor, however going by means of one thing related earlier this yr for myself, it’s irritating realizing that you simply’re not in a position to play. I nonetheless stand by my place that I don’t help the (Wimbledon) resolution. I feel it’s simply not honest, it’s not proper, however it’s what it’s,” he stated.
The All England Membership, which hosts Wimbledon, justified its actions in an announcement posted to Twitter.
“Within the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented army aggression, it could be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any advantages from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian gamers with The Championships,” the group stated.
Wimbledon begins June 27.
The Related Press contributed to this report.