Tennis Players Discuss Wimbledon Russia Ban

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic criticized the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic criticized the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players.

Recently, the organizers of this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament announced that, in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian players would be banned from the tournament. This decision has drawn split reactions from tennis fans and players, with some believing the choice to be justified given the current global situation, while others believing it to be unfair to blame players for the actions of their countries.

Two prominent players currently competing in the Madrid Open, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, had some particular comments to offer on the matter, with both criticizing the organizers for their decision.

“It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war,” Nadal said. “I’m sorry for them. Wimbledon just took their decision. … The government didn’t force them to do it.”

“Let’s see what happens in the next weeks, if the players will take some kind of decision in that regard.”

Djokovic, meanwhile, likened the ban to his deportation from Australia due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. “It’s not the same thing, but going through something similar earlier this year for myself, it’s frustrating knowing that you’re not able to play,” Djokovic said. “I still stand by my position that I don’t support the [Wimbledon] decision. I think it’s just not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is.”

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