RAFAEL Nadal says it is his ‘job’ to stand up for the Russian and Belarussian tennis players, who have been banned from Wimbledon in the wake of the invasion from Ukraine.
The ATP player council has called for Wimbledon to be stripped of ranking points in a row that has continued to rumble on and while Nadal refused to open up on whether that’s a stance he agrees with, he was defiant in standing up for his fellow players.
“The only thing we can do is be in touch with Wimbledon and the rest of the ATP management to do the things that work better to protect every single player in the ATP,’ Nadal was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“At the end, that’s our job: to protect the players and to work (to) the benefit of every single player that we are representing.”
The All-England Club excluding the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka due to being Russian or Belarusian has irked a number of top men’s tennis players, particularly Nadal.
“I think it’s very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues,’’ the Spaniard said earlier this month.
‘‘In that sense it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.’’
It comes after Labour MP Chris Bryant called on the Players’ Council to open up on what role Nadal, the record 21-time Grand Slam winner, and Roger Federer play in the body’s resistance against Wimbledon’s stance.
“Federer and Nadal should come clean.
Do they want Vladimir Putin to fail or don’t they care?” Bryant is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“The men’s tour are behaving appallingly.
It’s like they haven’t heard what is happening in Ukraine or don’t care.”
Wimbledon is held from June 27 until July 10.
— Daily Mail