The Russian and his peers had hopes that an alternative decision might be made by Wimbledon organizers.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 21, 2022
World No.8 Andrey Rublev spoke to reporters about Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships (and other grass-court events in the U.K. this summer) on Thursday at Belgrade, after he qualified for the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over Jiri Lehecka.
Rublev says that he and several other players joined a call with Wimbledon management on Wednesday, and added that the players were committed to donating all their prize money to Ukrainian relief efforts.
“To be honest, the reasons that they gave, there is no even logic [for what] they propose,” Rublev said. “And I understand, for example, if they banned us—if they banned Russian players and Belarusian players—and at least it made like a half-percent or something of change or help. But it’s not gonna do anything and it’s not gonna change anything.
"Because the thing that’s happening now, it’s completely discrimination [against] us.”
Rublev said that he and other players hoped that Wimbledon would give them the chance to play, and added that they were ready to forfeit all of their prize money to do it.
A few notes before I post Rublev’s comment on the Wimbledon decision. 1) He was clearly emotional & expressed that he feels under a lot of pressure. 2) He apologized for not being able to express himself as clearly as he would like (in English). 3) He spoke “from the heart.” pic.twitter.com/dmnUxl7p4P
— Ana Mitrić (@ana_mitric) April 21, 2022
“What we proposed to Wimbledon—and I hope that it will make sense and I hope that they will think about it—is to [give us] a chance to choose if we want to play or we don’t want to play,” he said. “And if there is a statement that we need to sign, on top of that, [we will give] all the prize money to humanitarian help—to the families who are suffering, to the kids who [are] suffering.”
The AELTC’s decision came after high-level meetings between the LTA and the British government. They left room to change the policy if there are signifcant changes in the week’s and months to come.
“If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly,” The AELTC said.
The ban has been criticized by the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as icons Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and others.
Wimbledon says that their goal was to "limit Russia's global influence through the strongest means possible."
"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships,” their statement read.
Photo credit: Serbia Open Facebook