Novak Djokovic intends to play Wimbledon despite ‘lose-lose situation’ of Russian and Belarusian bans
Novak Djokovic has confirmed his desire to play at Wimbledon this year but has criticized the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament.
Speaking after his win over Yoshihito Nishioka in the French Open first round, the world No.1 also accepted the ATP’s decision not to award ranking points.
“Yes, I plan to go to Wimbledon,” Djokovic said.
“On a personal, individual level, I was very negatively affected by [the removal of ranking points].
“But I spoke with the management and the president of [the] ATP and some of the board members have been doing it for the past few days.
“I think collectively I’m happy that the players have come together with the ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis, and shown at the Grand Slam that when a mistake happens – and there have been some on the side of Wimbledon – then we have to show that there are going to be consequences.”
Djokovic’s remarks follow ATP and WTA response at Wimbledon controversial ban on Russian and Belarusian playerswhich rules out a number of top players, including Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka.
The decision to strip the event of ranking points essentially makes it an exhibition tournament.
On Monday, Australian tennis player Chris O’Connell spoke about the developments, saying he is consider snubbing the tournament.
In Djokovic’s case, he is expected to lose 2,000 points as a result of the decision, adding to his loss of 2,000 points after he was denied the chance to defend his Australian Open title earlier in the year. year because of his vaccination status.
According to the Serbian star, the tournament organizers could have communicated and negotiated better.
“They [the All England Club] haven’t discussed it with anyone from the ATP or with individual players – or, for that matter, Russian or Belarusian players – just to communicate and understand if there is any common ground where the two sides could make a compromise and something might work,” he said.
“So I think it was a bad decision. I don’t support that at all.
“Wimbledon is still Wimbledon, it was my childhood dream, I never watched it for points or prize money, but I understand the group of players involved. It’s a lose-lose situation. “
Despite the points hit, the 35-year-old also expressed concerns about a new divide in the tennis community.
“Whatever you decide, unfortunately it’s going to create a lot of conflict – a lot of separation instead of unification,” he said.
“I don’t look at it through the prism of points or prize money. But there have to be standards or criteria, mutual respect.”
Luckily for Djokovic, he still has the chance to secure ranking points at this year’s French Open and defend his title on the clay courts of Paris.
A dominating 6-3 6-1 6-0 victory over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka was an ideal start to his 2022 French Open campaign.
In the second round, he will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Federico Coria and Alex Molcan.
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