Russian and Belarusian players have been banned from competing at Wimbledon and in all LTA grass court tournaments this summer over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Here’s what Rafael Nadal thinks about that decision:
“I think it’s very unfair of my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. In that sense its 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.
“So that makes that, you know, for our games, that we are in the organization, the ATP, of tennis players and tournaments, we are clear that the Grand Slams are out of all of it. But at the end of the day, it’s not less true that we are ATP, are the tournament that have the most points, right? They are the most important The 2,000 points, whenever we go to the Grand Slams, they are really important and we have to go to those tournaments.
“So we will have to see the measures that we take, and it’s very unfair thing for them, for sure. But unfortunately, I would say that in this moment, you know, being a very complicated situation for those Russian players, you know; there is a lot of things happening, Russia and Ukraine, and at the end of the day, what happens in our game is, you know, it doesn’t have any importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine, very serious.”