On Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic opened up about Wimbledon’s decision. The All-England Club has restricted the players from competing at the Wimbledon Open in June. The two-tennis giants revealed that the club’s decision was unfair against the players who had nothing to do with the war.
In April, Wimbledon announced the ban of Russian and Belarusian players from the Grand Slam event. The ATP and WTA tennis tours publically criticized the Wimbledon decision. In addition, the tours warned them about the legal consequences of their decision. The renowned players missing the US Open this year are Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova from Russia. And players from Belarus like Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka will not appear either. Recently, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic shared their opinion during a press conference ahead of the Madrid Open.
Nadal Slams Wimbledon For Their Decision
Rafael Nadal is returning after suffering a rib stress fracture in March during the Indian Wells Masters. The Spaniard is set to make a comeback at the Maris Open this week. It would be the first time two Big Three players would participate in 2022. Early in the year, Nadal lifted his 21st Grand Slam title (most by any men’s tennis star) at the Australian Open after Djokovic failed to participate due to his deportation from the country.
Rafa shared that whatever is happening at this moment with the Russian war is not the tennis players’ fault. Nadal advocated that the decision made against his fellow competitors was very unfair and felt sorry for them. The 35-year-old also revealed that Wimbledon took the harsh decision without any pressure from the UK government. The Spaniard added, “Let’s see what happens in the next weeks if the players will take some kind of decision in that regard.”
Djokovic Compares Wimledon’s Ban To His Australian Deportation
Djokovic further compared the ban to his deportation from Australia. The Serb landed in Melbourne in January to participate in the Australian Open. However, the authorities did not allow him to compete. World no. 1 was forced to leave the country due to Djokovic’s stand against vaccination.
The Serb said it might not be the same situation. But he went through a similar situation earlier in 2022. Nole understands how frustrating it is when a player is not allowed to play. Further, Djokovic said he still stands by his position against Wimbledon’s decision. The 34-year-old added, “I think it’s just not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is.”
The All- England Club also shared a response to their decision in a Twitter post. The tweet justified that such unjustified military aggression from Russia is unacceptable. Hence, Wimbledon is against the Russian Regime deriving any benefits from the involvement of Russian and Belarusian players.