'Happy to': Daniil Medvedev's revelation about Wimbledon ban

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·Sports Reporter
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World No.2 Daniil Medvedev says he would be happy to play at Wimbledon this year if the tournament abruptly lifts the ban on Russian players. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
World No.2 Daniil Medvedev says he would be happy to play at Wimbledon this year if the tournament abruptly lifts the ban on Russian players. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev hasn't given up hope on an improbable appearance at Wimbledon, saying he would be happy to play if invited.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club unilaterally banned players from Russia and Belarus from competing at this year's tournament, in response to the Vladimir Putin led Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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The larger sporting world has grappled with how to deal with Russian competitors, though many have spoken out against the invasion, including Medvedev.

The ATP and WTA tours have allowed Russian and Belarussian players to compete under a neutral flag, however Wimbledon took things a step further by banning them outright.

This decision was met with the equally controversial move from the ATP and WTA to strip Wimbledon of ranking points this year.

Naomi Osaka has already withdrawn from Wimbledon as a result, while the removal of ranking points will likely affect the rankings themselves since player will be unable to defend points scored from last year.

Medvedev says he would be happy to play with or without points, saying organisers across the board were in a 'tricky situation'.

“They have to, you know, communicate to other players, yeah, about what they are doing,” Medvedev said.

“I think it's a tricky situation, because if you come and talk to the council players, they are going to be super happy to answer all your questions, but sometimes we as players, we don't have much free time.

“When the ATP announced it, I was, like, 'Okay, it's official'. Right now I don't know what's gonna happen.

"You know, my main job is to play tennis, try to get points here as much as I can.

“Again, I'm gonna repeat again, if I can play Wimbledon I will be happy to be there, even without points.

"With points, will be happy to be there and try to get some points. If I cannot play, I'm gonna stay home, practice hard, and try to be better for my next tournaments.”

Players split over Wimbledon ranking points controversy

Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal was not in favour of Wimbledon banning players, arguing the Russian's government's choice to invade Ukraine was not the fault of tennis players.

“It’s unfair for my Russian colleagues,” Nadal said after the Wimbledon ban was announced.

“It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.”

Admitting she was 'motivated by seeing my rank go up' earlier in the week, Osaka was labelled a 'brat' by longtime antagonist Piers Morgan, and criticised more subtly by Murray.

The Scottish fan favourite said Wimbledon boasted a cachet that no other event on the tour could match - with points or without.

“I’d hazard a guess that most people watching on centre court Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time wouldn’t know or care about how many ranking points a player gets for winning a 3rd round match,” Murray wrote on Twitter.

“But I guarantee they will remember who wins. Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition.”

Andy Murray is confident Wimbledon will remain a massive draw for fans and players, even without ranking points this year. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
Andy Murray is confident Wimbledon will remain a massive draw for fans and players, even without ranking points this year. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, even Murray wasn't able to bring the tennis world to a point of consensus.

American former star Mardy Fish popped up in the replies to Murray's post, suggesting that while it might be true that many fans don't closely follow the rankings, they are immensely important.

Murray acknowledged that point, but argued that for himself, points were not the 'be all and end all'.

"I’d rather play for points however it’s not the be all and end all," he responded.

“Do you think the top golfers would still play TheMasters if there was no points? Would Mito Pereira rather have won the PGA championship and earned no points or finished 3rd and got however many ranking points he got?"

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