Rafael Nadal says Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s championships is unfair and that he and his teammates must take a stand.
Rafael Nadal considered Wimbledon’s decision to bar Russian and Belarusian players from participating in the Championships “unfair,” the Spanish tennis legend told reporters in Madrid on Sunday.
The 21-time major winner believes the All England Club chose “the most drastic option” and hopes the tours can find a way to interfere with the ban.
Belarus considers itself an ally of Russia and allows Russian troops to invade Ukraine from across its border.
“It’s unfair to my Russian colleagues,” Nadal said.
“I feel sorry for them. I wish it wasn’t, but at the end of the day we know this is what we have.”
“As a fellow player, what can I say? I feel sorry for them,” the 35-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion said.
“Let’s see what happens in the next few weeks and see if we as players need to take a stand.
Nadal criticized Wimbledon for going beyond his powers.
“In this case, the government issued a recommendation and Wimbledon decided to impose the most drastic option without being obliged to do so.”
“We know that the Slams are outside of the ATP, but as the ATP we award them the most points of all the events,” Nadal said.
“Then we will have to see the measures that we take, and it is something very unfair for them, for sure.”
“At the end of the day, what happens in our game is of no importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine,” he said.
Nadal is the number three seed in Madrid and opens his campaign against the winner of the first-round clash between Alexander Bublik and Miomir Kecmanovic.