Medvedev: Wimbledon ban is unfair


Daniel Medvedev calls the Wimbledon ban of Russians and Belarusians “unfair” and suggests it could set a dangerous precedent.

Last month, Wimbledon announced its ban on Russians and Belarusians condemning the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. AELTC officials said they did not want to provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a potential propaganda platform during the grass-court Grand Slam.

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Second-seeded Russian Medvedev, along with fellow countrymen Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka are among the stars banned from the Championships under the Wimbledon ruling.

“On the one hand I can understand it and on the other I find it unfair. It’s a tricky situation because it sets a precedent and puts other sports competitions in an uncomfortable position. Medvedev told the Tribune de Genève in an interview.

The US Open champion called for a double standard in British policy for self-employed Russians, but said he would accept Wimbledon’s decision.

“After discussing this with the ATP, we tennis players are considered by law to be self-employed,” Medvevev said in comments posted by Tribune of Geneva. “Currently in the UK, self-employed Russians have the right to work.

“So if I have the opportunity to play at Wimbledon, I would be delighted. If not, I would accept it.”

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The championships announced on April 20 that given “Russia’s illegal actions”, it “would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to benefit from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players in the championships”.

“We share the universal condemnation of Russia’s unlawful actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the general British public as a British sporting institution,” Wimbledon said in a statement posted on its website. “We have also taken into account the guidelines set out by the UK government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events.

“Given the profile of the Championships in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit the global influence of Russia by the most powerful means possible.

“Under the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players in the championships. We therefore intend, with deep regret, to refuse registrations of Russian and Belarusian players for the 2022 Championships.”

The ATP and WTA have both publicly opposed the Wimbledon ban and are considering either stripping Wimbledon of ranking points or potentially offering players the option to choose their best result from Wimbledon 2021 or 2022.

If the latter plan is approved, it means Medvedev could keep the ranking points from his performance in the round of 16 at Wimbledon last summer.

The Australian Open runner-up, who underwent hernia surgery in early April, said he was not part of the ATP Players Council and was unaware of the measures potential that the Tour would take.

“I was away from the circuit and I am not part of the Players Council. So I’m not too aware of that,” Medvedev said. “I listen and it is my principle to respect all opinions.

“You know, out of 100 people, 95 see the yellow tennis ball and 5% see the green one. We can’t all agree.”

photo credit: Getty


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