'Ridiculous': Ukrainian star lets rip at Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Ukraine tennis player Marta Kostyuk (pictured middle) speaks to the media (pictured left) Rafa Nadal reacts to a point and (pictured right) Novak Djokovic warms-up.
Ukraine tennis player Marta Kostyuk (pictured middle) has called out Rafa Nadal (pictured left) and Novak Djokovic (pictured right) for their comments regarding Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players. (Getty Images)

Ukrainian tennis star Marta Kostyuk has singled out Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal over their comments regarding the sport's division over Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

The 19-year-old, like many Ukrainians impacted by Russia's invasion of her homeland, admitted she has been living a 'roller coaster' life since Vladimir Putin announced the war.

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In April, Kostyuk said she had 'cut out' contact with Russian and Belarusian players she was previously in contact with following the invasion of Ukraine.

She then called out Aussie star John Millman for slamming Wimbledon's ban.

Now, Kostyuk has singled out Djokovic, Nadal and Victoria Azarenka for their comments on the controversial decision.

Nadal and Djokovic have previously admitted they felt sorry for the players missing out due to Wimbledon's hard stance.

Now, Kostyuk has let rip at the trio for what she believes is a lack of support for her Ukraine.

"I want my fellow players to support and understand the situation and be vocal on some things as well," Kostyuk said, before thanking Poland's World No.1 Iga Swiatek for her support for Ukraine.

"But I mean, look at what Rafa said, look at what Novak said. How can you get the support from the tour when top three players say these things?

"Victoria Azarenka is in the players' board, making decisions about points in Wimbledon, where she's not even participating. And saying that she has no personal interest in making decisions. Just the fact that she's present there on the calls, doing whatever. It's ridiculous."

Kostyuk has admitted she has suffered a 'nightmare' since Russia's invasion of her homeland, which forced her to move her family out of war-torn Ukraine.

Rafa Nadal (pictured) speaks during a French Open press conference.
Rafa Nadal (pictured) has been caught up in the controversy surrounding the ATP's decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points after their ban on Russian and Belarusian players. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

In the Italian Open last week, Kostyuk broke down and walked off court during her doubles match with partner Elena-Gabriela Ruse against the Russian pair of Veronika Kudermetova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Kostyuk admitted she felt 'weird' on court once things got going.

"I started crying and I started talking to my coaches. I said I cannot be here, I don't know why I'm playing," she said.

"I have to win to be heard, but I don't because there are other problems on the other side, which I'm facing. So a lot of pressure around.

"Suddenly there were way bigger things in life than tennis. I don't think a lot of people faced what I've been facing."

Novak Djokovic agrees with Wimbledon rankings strip

Earlier in the week, Djokovic said he will still play at Wimbledon next month.

However, the World No.1 said he was glad a stand was made against Wimbledon for their hard-line ban.

"Yes, I intend to go to Wimbledon," said Djokovic after overcoming Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the French Open first round.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) celebrates with the trophy after winning the men's final match at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) said he would be playing Wimbledon and admitted he was glad the ATP made a stand ahead of the tournament. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua via Getty Images)

“I’m glad that the players got together with ATP and the governing bodies. It shows to the Grand Slams that when there is a mistake - there was from Wimbledon side - that there will be consequences.

“Wimbledon is still Wimbledon, it was my dream as a kid, I never looked at it for points or prize-money, but I understand the group of players affected. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

Nadal said he 'respected' both sides of the Wimbledon controversy and hoped for a better outcome before the tournament.

with Reuters

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