'I hope not': Russian tennis star's big concern over Ukraine war

Pictured here, Daniil Medvedev fronts a press conference ahead of the Indian Wells tournament.
Daniil Medvedev admits Russia's war on Ukraine has placed his future in the tennis in doubt. Pic: Getty

Russian World No.1 Daniil Medvedev admits his country's war against Ukraine has left his future in tennis under a massive cloud.

Medvedev hopes that Russian and Belarusian tennis players will continue to be allowed to compete but acknowledges there remains a chance of further restrictions.

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The governing bodies of tennis (the International Tennis Federation, ATP, WTA, and the four Grand Slam events) recently announced that Russian and Belarusian players can no longer compete under the flags of their respective countries.

Russia launched a full-scale military assault on Ukraine last month, a move that received the backing of Belarus, leading the ITF to revoke Russian and Belarussian membership and suspend the countries' teams.

That decision followed in the footsteps of rulings relating to Russian teams or competitors in various sports, including football and athletics.

Russian athletes have been banned from sports such as athletics, badminton, canoeing and rowing and there are no athletes from Russia or Belarus allowed to compete at the Beijing Winter Paralympics.

Medvedev admits he's concerned tennis might follow the same lead as the other sports, and ban him from being able to compete.

"We never know - some sports made this decision, especially I would think the team sports," Medvedev said.

"Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone's living in so many different places.

"There's always a possibility, but I hope not."

The Russian, who recently talked of his wish to "promote peace", said he hopes to continue to play, ahead of the first Masters event of the year in Indian Wells.

"It's always tough to talk on this subject because I want to play tennis, [to] play in different countries," the 26-year-old said.

"I want to promote my sport.

"I want to promote what I'm doing in my country for sure, and right now the situation is that that is the only way I can play [without representing Russia]."

Seen here, Daniil Medvedev applauds his supporters in Mexico.
Daniil Medvedev has been distancing himself from Russia's unpopular and bloody war with Ukraine. Pic: Getty

Daniil Medvedev distances himself from Russia's war

Medvedev already removed the Russian flag from his Instagram account earlier this week, in a sign that he is further distancing himself from President Vladimir Putin's war with Ukraine.

He also posted an impassioned call for peace on the day he officially took over from Novak Djokovic as the world's top ranked men's player.

The Russian said the world owed it to children across the globe to show them that they could grow up in a peaceful world.

"I want to speak on behalf of every kid in the world," he wrote at the time.

"They all have dreams, their life is just starting, so many nice experiences to come: first friends, first great emotions.

"Everything they feel and see is for the first time in their lives.

"That's why I want to ask for peace in the world, for peace between countries.

"Kids are born with inner trust in the world, they believe so much in everything: in people, in love, in safety, in justice, in their chances in life.

"Let's be together and show them that it's true, because every kid shouldn't stop dreaming."

with agencies

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