Image Source: BBC
Despite his desire to continue promoting his sport, Russia’s world number one Daniil Medvedev is unsure if he will be permitted to do so shortly.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Medvedev, along with all other players from Russia and Belarus, is no longer permitted to participate under his home country’s flag.
On the other hand, Tennis officials insist that players may compete as individuals “at the present moment.”
‘It’s always difficult to speak about this issue because I want to play tennis; I want to play in other places,’ he said.
In an interview on the eve of the first Master’s tournament of the year, Medvedev added: “I want to promote my sport, I want to promote what I’m doing in my country, and right now, that is the only way I can play.” The first Master’s event will be held in Indian Wells, California.
Russian competitors have been barred from participating in athletics, badminton, canoeing, and rowing at the Beijing Winter Paralympics. There are no Russian or Belarusian athletes competing at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing. If he were asked if he felt tennis would follow their route, he said, “We never know – certain sports, particularly team sports, took this choice.”
Tennis is one of the most individual sports we have in the world, and it is played by people all over the world. Everyone resides in a variety of locations. “There’s always the chance, but I hope it doesn’t happen.” Because Ashleigh Barty and Barbora Krejcikova are not competing at Indian Wells, the top seed in the women’s singles is Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka.
She claims she has not encountered any antagonism from her Ukrainian counterparts, although she acknowledges that the atmosphere in the players’ area is not as positive as it typically is.
“I’m feeling sorry and horrible for the Ukrainian folks who have lost their houses as a result of the conflict,” she remarked. “Unfortunately, I do not influence the situation. All I want is for there to be peace.
“At the very least, we can play.” I understand the situation [as to why she cannot play under the Belarusian flag], but we do not influence it. Our feelings regarding this circumstance are likewise quite sad and damaging.”
And, like so many other players from so many other countries, Sabalenka will proudly wear the blue and yellow ribbon of Ukraine when she takes the court for the first time in Indian Wells on Saturday afternoon.