World number one Novak Djokovic and world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas have both hit out against the “crazy” decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament over the Russia – Ukraine conflict.
“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” said Djokovic at the ATP event in Belgrade.
“I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans we have had many wars in recent history.
“However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. The players, the tennis players, the athletes have nothing to do with it (war). When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”
Tsitsipas also chimed in the controversial ban at Sunday’s press conference in Madrid, echoing a similar sentiment to Novak Djokovic:
“Players can’t control what happened, especially those from the countries that have suffered the most. It’s a sensitive issue. It is not nice that they are not allowed to play. They have not done anything wrong to be automatically disqualified from the event.”
Notably, as many readers would know, Tsitsipas is half Russian, from his mother’s side.