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French Open: ‘Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian players was wrong,’ says Novak Djokovic


World number one and the current holder of the French Open, Novak Djokovic has said that Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players was wrong. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) which operates the tournament took the decision in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after much political furore in England.

The decision sent Tennis world in frenzy and the prestigious tournament was stripped off the ranking points by the ATP and WTA Tours. The decision to strip Wimbledon off points was welcomed by several players since rankings determine a player’s ability to enter tennis events and receive seedings.

“On a personal level of course, without getting a chance to play and defend my 4,000 points from Australia and Wimbledon, I will drop them this year,” said Djokovic.

“On a personal, individual level I am very negatively affected by that,” said the Serb following his first round win at the French Open.

To put things into context, Novak Djokovic was forced to miss this year’s Australian Open due to his lack of a COVID-19 vaccination and subsequent deportation.

“Collectively I am glad that players got together and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening we have to show there will be some consequences,” he said.

“I think it (Wimbledon’s ban) was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But at these times it is a sensitive subject and whatever you decide will create a lot of conflict.”

“There was never unfortunately a strong communication coming from Wimbledon. That’s why I think it’s wrong.”

The Tennis governing bodies across the world have themselves banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions but have allowed players to compete as neutrals in the individual competitions. The authorities had publicly let their disappointment known on Wimbledon’s decision when it announced that they would not let the athletes from the two countries to participate.

“It’s a very unique and weird situation but a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” Djokovic said, adding he was planning to play at the tournament.

“Wimbledon has always been my dream since I was a kid. I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money but there has to be some standards with some mutual respect,” he said.

“This is one of these kinds of decisions where there will always be someone who will suffer more. It is a lose-lose situation.”



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