Tennis World No.1 Daniil Medvedev has distanced himself further from his native Russia, with a telling move in the wake of the bloody invasion of Ukraine.
Medvedev last week 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.
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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."
In a telling and further sign that he is distancing himself from President Vladimir Putin's unpopular war, Medvedev has now removed the Russian flag from his Instagram account.
Fellow Russian and Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov has also done the same, however, there is currently no guarantees that any players from Russia will be allowed to compete at the various grand slams around the world.
The new world No. 1 tennis player Daniil Medvedev of Russia – the first player other than Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, or Murray to get to No. 1 since February 2004 – has deleted the Russian flag from his Instagram profile. pic.twitter.com/rhHtCk0aYJ
— Kimberly Givant (@KimberlyGivant) March 3, 2022
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The United States government has so far only imposed travel bans on Russian Oligarchs and their families, while issuing a travel advisory against US citizens visiting Russia.
American authorities have also implored citizens living in Russia to consider leaving the country immediately.
Medvedev is still hoping to compete at both the upcoming Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments in America, where he will need strong performances to hang on to his World No.1 status.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has suspended the Russian and Belarus federations’ memberships and withdrawn their entries from all affiliated international team competitions “until further notice”.
A decision was also made by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to suspend the events scheduled to be held in Moscow in October.
The ITF, WTA and ATP jointly agreed on the sanctions that were outlined earlier this week.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression,” the statement read.
“We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.”
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