Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev is grateful to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for publicly calling out Wimbledon for their decision.
When Nadal and Djokovic were asked about the Wimbledon decision to impose player bans on Russian and Belarusian players, they said they do not support it.
“Support from the [tennis] top players is always needed. [English] players and the [Russian] federation are grateful to all of the players who have already come out in defense of our athletes who were not allowed to compete [at Wimbledon]. In my opinion, all the top players should support us and thus defend the competitive principle in the tennis world,” Tarpischev said, per btu.org.ua.
Nadal, Djokovic against the Wimbledon decision
Both Nadal and Djokovic used the world “unfair” when talking about the Wimbledon decision.
“I think it’s very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. In that sense it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war,” Nadal said in Madrid.
After calling the Wimbledon decision “unfair,” Djokovic gave a detailed explanation why he doesn’t support their decision.
“I don’t support that, I grew up with sanctions, I know how it feels when the world sees you differently, because a bad image has been created,” Djokovic said. “I was a victim of that, as were many Serbs. I am a child of war, I know what it is like to lose close people, some still suffer because of all that. I will be against it forever. Politics exists in sports, you have political structures in the organization. I am talking about higher instances of interfering politics. I stand behind what I said. There is no need to suspend any athlete, not just a tennis player. I don’t see how they affect the war. We have a rule in tennis on the prohibition of discrimination, which speaks of the rule of ranking non-nationality. Wimbledon violated that, the ATP spoke out.”