‘Defend the Competitive Principle’ – Russian Tennis Federation Lauds Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic Over Their Firm Stance on Wimbledon’s Ban

Published 05/12/2022, 11:51 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 21, 2020 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi-final match REUTERS/Toby Melville

Earlier last month, Wimbledon announced a major decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament. In a move that attracted sharp criticism from the top tennis players in the world like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the tournament took this decision on the back of the rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe.

Many fellow players spoke against this ruling which barred entry to the players based on nationalities. Recently, the Russian Tennis Federation President, Shamil Tarpischev, thanked them for backing Russian tennis players.

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Russian Tennis Federation grateful to the top players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Lauding top players on the tour for supporting Russian athletes, Tarpischev said, “Support from the [tennis] top players is always needed. Players and the [Russian] federation are grateful to all of the players who have already come out in defense of our athletes who were not allowed to compete [at Wimbledon]. In my opinion, all the top players should support us and thus defend the competitive principle in the tennis world.” (Translated Using Google Translate)

Earlier, the likes of Djokovic, Billie Jean King, Nadal, etc. had slammed Wimbledon’s harsh ruling on Russian and Belarusian athletes. Further, talking about this matter, Nadal had said, “The Russian tennis players in particular are not to blame, the decision is not right.”

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ATP might strip Wimbledon of ranking points

The top players on the men’s tour came together and suggested to the governing body to strip Wimbledon of ranking points in the wake of its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes. Further, if this is implemented, it will leave one of the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar as just an exhibition event.

Mar 19, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) reacts after missing a shot during a victory over. Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) in their semifinal match in the. BNP Paribas Open at the. Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Meanwhile, at the ongoing Italian Open, Nadal suffered a shock third-round loss. He went down against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in three sets. As a result, Nadal will drop to the fifth spot in the ATP rankings next week. This comes as a major blow to Nadal, who is looking to win his 14th French Open title.

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Vatsal Shah

631 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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