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World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev scraps Russia’s flag from Instagram account amidst Russia-Ukraine war

World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev removes Russia's flag from Instagram account amidst the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Daniil Medvedev

World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev has removed the Russian flag from his Instagram profile, according to social media users, after Russian and Belarusian tennis stars were sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

After it was discovered that he removed the Russian flag from his Instagram bio, social media users caught up on the action. The flag had originally been displayed under his description as a ‘pro tennis player,’ but it is no longer visible on the account, which has over 950,000 followers. When queried about the removal of the Russian flag, Medvedev’s aides reportedly responded that they were “not willing to comment.”

Kimberly Givant initiated a Twitter thread in which she shared screenshots of the World No. 1’s Instagram account before and after removing the flag.

The current Russia-Ukraine conflict has thrown the world into turmoil. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s soldiers successfully took over control of Ukraine’s first major city, the port city of Kherson. Several Russian athletes have been pressured to speak out against their country’s purpose since Moscow escalated its onslaught against Kyiv by causing significant destruction throughout key cities. In the face of rising demand, Medvedev is one of the first prominent Russian athletes to take down his country’s flag from his Instagram account.

Medvedev, 26, recently became the first new name to reach the world number one slot in 18 years, surpassing Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray. Daniil Medvedev, after securing the world’s top-ranking, posted a heartfelt message on his Instagram account, pleading for peace. The 26-year-old advocated for international peace, claiming that children’s ambitions might be ruined if countries are at odds. He hopes that the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict does not discourage children from pursuing their objectives, as he wants to show them that they, too, can reach their goals in life.

However, after the ITF sanctioned Russia and Belarus previously this week in regards to the situation in Ukraine, Medvedev, like his tennis star countrymen, will be forced to compete without his country’s name and flag. The Russian and Belarusian tennis federations have been disbanded “until further notice,” and players from the two countries will be unable to partake in this year’s Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup, in which the Russian Tennis Federation is the defending champion.

Medvedev’s Upcoming Schedule

Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev’s next tournament is the Indian Wells Masters, which starts on March 7th, and the Miami Open, which starts on March 21st. After that, he’ll begin his least preferred clay season, which will most likely begin with the Monte Carlo Masters. Medvedev has stated numerous times that he is uncomfortable on clay. When Medvedev was broken in the second set after losing the first at Madrid last year, he sat on the courtside bench and said to himself, “It’s the worst surface in the world for me. But if you like to be in the dirt like a dog, I don’t judge.” He stated he’s not trying to hide it: “I don’t like clay,” he declared in Monte Carlo, where he was unable to compete after testing positive for COVID-19. He said he’s not a big fan of clay and has maintained that.

However, he will be entering these tournaments as the World No. 1 for the first time, and seeing his current form and shape, he is quite likely to perform well if he doesn’t give in to his hatred for clay.

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