World No. 8 Andrey Rublev has been one of the most active Russian players to continuously speak against the ban imposed by the LTA and Wimbledon on all Russian and Belarusian players from playing in all grass court events in the UK in the coming months. The ban will see the players from the two countries miss the third Grand Slam of the season as well.
The decision has been purely political coming in support of Ukraine and in oppose to the Russian attempt to invade the European nation. The move by Russians has seen Ukraine being torn into a bloody war for more than 2 months now with many civilians fleeing the country while others joining the army to protect their country.
The Wimbledon ban has however not been received well by a large section of the tennis community who wish to see the sport being kept out of politics. Many former and current players have spoken against the ban including the current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic who was finally cleared to play in the Championships this season.
The notable absentees from the debate have however been tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The duo have maintained complete silence on the topic. What has also helped them is their inactivity on the Tour when the decision was taken. Rublev has not liked the silence of the two stalwarts and asked reporters to get the two players to speak their hearts out on the topic.
“Honestly, I don’t know. No guesswork. It’s probably better to ask them that question. I don’t want to throw too much conjecture to misinform. Is it because of the image or do they have a different opinion? I don’t know,” said Rublev as per championat.
Wimbledon unbothered by criticism of Andrey Rublev, Novak Djokovic and others
Even with ATP, WTA and PTPA all opposing the ban on the players, the Wimbledon has maintained its stance and is unmoved on the issue whatsoever. The Championships continue to carry the tournament ahead as per their plan and look certain to hold the major without the players from the two countries.
“It is not discrimination in the form that is being said. It is a considered view reached as to what is the right and responsible decision in all the circumstances. Of course, we respect the opinions which others have reached. This is a very difficult situation, we’re now trying to get across the reasons why, particular to Wimbledon and why we think it is right for Wimbledon, and we will continue to communicate in that fashion,” said AELTC Chairman Ian Hewitt.
With Nadal set to play in the 2022 Madrid Masters, one can expect his view on the ban as the press conferences will definitely see reporters questioning the 21-time major winner on his viewpoint over the ban. As for Federer, his recovery mode is on but his comeback date still remains a question.