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Daniil Medvedev criticises ‘unfair’ Wimbledon ban on Russian players

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  Daniil Medvedev, tennis player from Russia, reacts during a training session at the ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament in Geneva - Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP
Daniil Medvedev, tennis player from Russia, reacts during a training session at the ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament in Geneva – Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP

Daniil Medvedev has not given up hope of what he branded an “unfair” ban on him playing at Wimbledon being overturned.

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The world No2 broke his silence on the toxic row to engulf the sport following the All England Club’s decision to block Russian and Belarusians from entering the tournament over the invasion of Ukraine.

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The ATP and WTA could this week strip Wimbledon and other British grass-court events of ranking points in protest.

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Speaking about his ban ahead of his return to action following a hernia operation that has sidelined him for the past six weeks, Medvedev said in comments reported by Russia’s state-affiliated news agency TASS: “On the one hand, I can understand it and, on the other, I find it unfair.

“This is a delicate situation because it sets a precedent and puts other sports competitions in an uncomfortable position. Where is the line? What are the rules that should lead to a possible exclusion? For having discussed it with the ATP, we are, us tennis players, considered in terms of law as independent workers.

“But currently in the United Kingdom, self-employed Russians have the right to work. So, if I have the opportunity to play at Wimbledon, I would be delighted. If not, I would accept it.”

Expressing hope of an about-turn by the All England Club during a media conference ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev said: “I don’t know if this decision is 100 per cent and it’s over. If I can play, I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament. If I cannot play, well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

He added: “I tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British Government is involved.

“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.

“You show a tennis ball to 100 people, I’m sure some of them are going to say it’s green and not yellow. I think it’s yellow. If somebody tells me it’s green, I’m not going to get in conflict with this person.”

When Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, Medvedev proclaimed he was “all for peace”.

Wimbledon ruled out forcing him and other players to sign declarations condemning directly Vladimir Putin’s actions.

Ahead of his return to action, Medvedev said of the ongoing war: “I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah. It’s very upsetting.”



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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