Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Not Happy With Wimbledon Ban
With the Wimbledon news a week ago banning Russian and Belarussian players, the top men met the press yesterday in Madrid and spoke out again against the AELTC’s decision.
“It’s hard,” Djokovic said. “There is frustration. ATP is going to, I guess, analyze the whole situation and understand what can be done. I have not spoken to people from ATP, so I’m not sure about it.
“Going through something similar, let’s say, 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.
“As I said, you know, I still stand by my position that I don’t support the decision. I think it’s just not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is. You know, they are entitled to make the decision, and now I guess it’s on player council, the tour management, to really decide along with the players what is the best solution in this situation, whether they keep the points, protect the points, take away 50% of the points or whatever.”
From what Djokovic is saying, those banned players might be able to keep points from 2021, or some portion, which would be important for a Aryna Sabalenka who made the semifinals last year.
Rafael Nadal also weighed in, calling the ban “unfair”.
“I think it’s very unfair of my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues,” Nadal said Sunday. “In that sense it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war. In that sense, well, you know, talking about colleagues, I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry for them. I wish it was not this way, but at the end of the day we know that this is what we have.
“From there onwards we will see what happens. Let’s see what happens in the next weeks, if the players will take some kind of decision in that regard. In that sense, well, there is one thing that’s negative, you know, there are things that are clear. When the government imposes some restrictions, you just have to follow them. In that case, the government gave a recommendation, and Wimbledon just took their decision, the more drastic position that they could take without taking into account — the government didn’t force them to do it.”
Added Stefanos Tsitsipas, “It hasn’t really been in the players’ control of what happened, especially the ones that are from the countries that suffer the most in terms of Wimbledon participation.
“It’s a sensitive topic to talk about. I think it’s not nice that they are not allowed to play, I believe. They have done nothing wrong to be, I’d say, automatically defaulted from that competition.
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