Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev said Thursday that Wimbledon’s decision to prohibit Russian and Belarusian players from competing in this year’s tournament due to the ongoing war in Ukraine is “complete discrimination.”
Rublev, ranked No. 8 in men’s singles, joins the No. 2 ranked and reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in notables to miss out on tennis’ signature Grand Slam, set to take place June 27-July 10.
“To be honest, the reasons that they give, there is no meaning, there is no logic for what they propose,” Rublev said after his victory over Jiri Lehecka in the Serbia Open Thursday. “The things that happen now is complete discrimination of us.”
Rublev added that he and other players had a call with Wimbledon officials Wednesday in hopes of coming up with a solution.
Rublev, 24, has been outspoken against his home country’s invasion of Ukraine, writing “No war please” on a camera lens after a match of his in February. The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AETLC) said its decision was made to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.”
But Rublev just wants to play, saying that he isn’t here to talk politics.
“At the end of the day, we want to compete,” Rublev said. “We are not here to talk about politics because I have no idea, anything about this. At the end of the day, I am Russian, and I was born in Russia and I’ve lived all my life in Russia, and I just want to show that we are good people.”
OutKick’s Clay Travis shared his thoughts on the AETLC’s decision and said on OutKick the Show Thursday that Wimbledon got it wrong.
“I think Wimbledon got it wrong,” Travis said. “I don’t believe you should hold individual athletes who are representing themselves primarily, not their countries … I don’t believe you should hold individual athletes responsible for the choices for their country makes. Particularly because we don’t even know what those individual athletes think about the invasion of Ukraine.”
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