‘Djokovic stands firm, Nadal runs away’ A tale of two opposite statements on the ongoing Wimbledon ranking points debacle by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

The titans of the sport- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have some very different opinions on the Wimbledon Ranking points saga.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has had a very negative impact on the world in every walk of life. Be it politics, culture, or even sports for that matter, the list never ends. Talking specifically about tennis, the participation of Russian athletes and the organizing of tennis tournaments in Russia was the highlighted issue.

The tennis bodies were quick to suspend all tournaments in Russia but allowed Russian athletes to compete on the tour provided they play without their Russian identity. This was deemed fair as the athletes have nothing to do with the war and have publicly condemned it. But things went south a few weeks ago when Wimbledon, one of the most prestigious tournaments of the season, announced that they won’t be allowing Russian and Belarussian athletes to compete at this year’s Championships.

The decision was not received well by the majority of players including big names like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two tennis legends have openly expressed their disappointment with the ruling and said that the athletes shouldn’t be punished for a crime they didn’t commit.

As a result, the ATP and WTA announced that there will be no ranking points awarded for Wimbledon 2022. This decision was again taken to show solidarity against Wimbledon’s ruling but there were mixed responses to this decision as well. Some players believed that this decision was necessary while others said that because of this decision, Wimbledon will lose its prestige.

At the ongoing French Open, Tennis legends Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have some different and opposite opinions on the same matter.

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‘When you make a wrong decision, there are consequences’: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

After his first-round win, Djokovic spoke about the decision to snub ranking points at Wimbledon 2022. He made it clear that the decision was right and Wimbledon had to face consequences when it makes a wrong decision. He said that the decision will personally affect him as he’ll lose a chunk of points going in as the defending champion but overall, he understands the significance of the decision and stands in solidarity of ATP and against Wimbledon.

“I’m affected because I’m not able to defend 4.000 points [Australia and Wimbledon], but I’m happy to see that the ATP and the Players decided to show Wimbledon that when you make a wrong decision, there are consequences,” he said.

“Wimbledon is still Wimbledon, it was my dream as a kid, I never looked at it for points of prize money, but I understand the group of players affected. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

‘I respect and understand both Wimbledon’s and ATP’s position:’ Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

On the same matter, Nadal took a rather diplomatic approach and said that he doesn’t have a clear opinion. In the press conference, he said that since tennis is an individual sport, everybody has a different opinion and hence everybody can’t be happy. As for the decisions made, he understands both the ATP and Wimbledon’s sides and still thinks that neither of them is negative or bad.

“I don’t have a clear opinion. On our tour, every single player has a different opinion, and that’s why we never achieve the things that we could achieve if we were together. I respect and I understand Wimbledon’s position, without a doubt, but on the other hand, I understand and I respect too that the ATP is protecting their members [the players – editor’s note]. That’s it. Is it not that one is doing a negative thing and the other one is doing the good thing,” he said.

Continuing his diplomatic talks, he said that whatever the decision is, we need to accept it. He added that he won’t be the player who will put his board in a tough position just to play. In the end, he just hoped that both ATP and Wimbledon will sit together and negotiate for the benefit of both sides.

I think players, we are not prepared enough well to make important decisions, because at the end is an individual sport. Everyone has their personal view in terms of how much profit they get from every single decision that ATP gets. In the end, I understand both sides. The board, the ATP board, makes a decision. We need to accept that decision. I will not be the player who comes here and who put my board in a tough position for decisions that they make. That’s my point of view. Hopefully, ATP and Wimbledon can be together and sit together and negotiate a better future for both sides,” he concluded.

Clearly, Djokovic’s opinion was on point and he backed himself to stand for what he believes in while Nadal took a rather diplomatic approach to make both parties happy.

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