The exclusion of Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Wimbledon was not welcomed by most of the players on the major circuit. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, two legends of the tennis world, have expressed their point of view without mincing words.
Djokovic said: “I will always condemn war, I will never support war by being a child of war myself. I know the emotional trauma that a war leaves behind, we all know what happened in Serbia in 1999. In recent history in the Balkans we have had many wars. However, I can’t support Wimbledon’s decision, I think it’s crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is never good. It’s a crazy decision.”
Nadal, on his part, explained: “Very unfair decision. There is not much they can do. What is their fault for what is happening? I’m really sorry for them. However, I say that what happens in our sport is irrelevant in the face of so many people who die and suffer.”
Jannik Sinner and the exclusion of Russian tennis players from Wimbledon
The last to speak on the sensitive issue was Jannik Sinner, who said durinf an inyerview for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera: “What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy: my thoughts are with the families of those who suffer, with the children involved in the conflict.”
“I am sorry for the Russian tennis players, I am really sad for them: in my opinion athletes should never be involved in political discussions. I hope that the war will end and that everything will be resolved as soon as possible. It’s a very sensitive issue, I don’t know what else to add.”
To be hit by the tough measure will be tennis players of the caliber of Daniil Medvedev, former world number one, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev and Ilya Ivashka.
There will also be illustrious defections in the women’s tournament, considering that Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daria Kasatkina, Veronika Kudermetova, Liudmila Samsonova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich will not participate in the third Major of 2022.