Unfair to ban Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is set to make his comeback at the Madrid Open but said he is “far from perfect” in terms of achieving full fitness.

Rafael Nadal of Spain.  Thanks to: Reuters

Rafael Nadal of Spain. Thanks to: Reuters

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nadal said the players are not to blame for the political tensions
  • Nadal said following government rules is mandatory
  • Nadal is currently recovering from a rib injury

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal believed that the Russian and Belarusian players had a hard time after being banned from Wimbledon from June 27. The world’s number 4 believed that the players should not be punished amid the political tensions surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.

The suspension means that top stars such as Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka cannot participate in the prestigious tournament. However, 35-year-old Nadal said that following the rules set by the government is mandatory and cannot be avoided.

‘Let’s wait and see what happens’

“I think it’s very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. In that sense, it’s not their fault what’s happening with the war right now,” Nadal told reporters at the Madrid Open on Sunday, May 1.

“Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks, when the players make some kind of decision … there is one thing that is negative, there are things that are clear. If the government imposes restrictions, you just have to follow them.” he claimed.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray abstained from taking sides, but spared a thought for the Russian and Belarus players.

“I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel if something happened to one of the players or their families (as a result of signing the form). I don’t think there is a good answer,” Murray said.

“I feel really bad for the players who are not allowed to play and I understand it will seem unfair to them,” he added.

As for Nadal, the 21 Grand Slam winner will make his comeback in Madrid after suffering a rib injury earlier this year. He said his fitness was “far from perfect” as he clearly set his goals for the upcoming French Open. Nadal has won the championship at Roland Garros no fewer than 13 times.

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