Serena Williams’ Coach Patrick Mouratoglou Says Russian Players Protesting Against the War Should Be Paid Tribute and Respect

Published 03/05/2022, 8:00 PM EST
Russia’s Davis Cup team with Shamil Tarpischev, team captain, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Evgeny Donskoy, Andrey Rublev and Konstantin Zhzhenov, during the draw ceremony in the Swiss Tennis Arena in Biel, Switzerland, on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Switzerland will be face Russia in the tennis Davis Cup qualification final round. EPA-EFE/PETER SCHNEIDER

Patrick Mouratoglou is a known name in the Tennis Fraternity. He runs a very successful tennis academy and is the coach of Serena Williams, Stefanos Tsitsipas and other elite players. He is also up-to-date with the current happenings of the tennis world. Recently, he shared his two cents on the escalating crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

Some players have written to the ITF and the two circuits as well asking for Russian players to be played as neutral athletes. While the authorities have banned further matches on Russian soil, Mouratoglou feels that the players individually should not have to bear the brunt of the political decisions taken at the governmental level.


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Patrick Mouratoglou thinks Russian players have been extremely courageous

While Ukrainian players naturally have come out in solidarity or to support their country’s efforts, many Russian players have also vouched for peace. From Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anastasia Potapova, several Russian players have shared their messages.

Mouratoglou says that Russian players should be respected for their stance. The tennis organizations have made it clear few days ago that Russia will be excluded from Davis Cup and other team events this year.

“So those athletes by taking a position against the war there, they put themselves at risk already by doing that. And so we have to also pay tribute and respect to the courage that they have by saying things publicly. And, you have to accept the consequences to be maybe not welcome in your own country,” he said.

Mouratoglou thinks that the current situation won’t affect Medvedev professionally


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Patrick also mentioned how he feels that Daniil Medvedev won’t be impacted tennis wise over the on-going conflict. It might, however, be overwhelming for him emotionally or even on a personal scale.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Abierto Mexicano – The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico – February 22, 2022 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his match against France’s Benoit Paire REUTERS/Henry Romero

“The real risk is that the ITF the ATP, WTA, they decided to suspend Russian players from playing tennis, which I would find really, really unfair. Especially players who have clearly expressed the fact that we’re they were 100% against war. So why would they be condemned for what your their country I mean, it’s not even their country. It is the president of the country decided to do which has nothing to do with them,” he elaborated.


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He also reiterated that the Ukrainian players definitely deserve a lot of credit for their courage. It remains to be seen if the ITF comes up with new restrictions on Russian players in the future.

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Rishma Banerjee

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Rishma Banerjee is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having done her masters in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, Rishma's outlet from the hustle-bustle of academics has always been sports, especially Tennis. A die-hard fan of Rafael Nadal, she admires his grit, determination and dedication towards always being better. When not writing content for firms dealing with fintech to social media marketing to sports, she finds herself in journals and books dealing with geopolitics and strategic studies or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr!