Andrey Rublev warns Wimbledon may destroy tennis and undo Federer, Nadal, Djokovic work

Wimbledon chief speaks about who will open 2022 competition

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Andrey Rublev has scalded Wimbledon chiefs over the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Grand Slam tournament. The 24-year-old, born in Moscow, warned that the All England Club (AELTC) could ‘destroy’ the sport and its glory, built up by years of hard work from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. 

The ATP and LTA have both opposed Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players from the start – a decision made in response to Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine. Repercussions kicked up a notch last Friday when it was announced that the Grand Slam at SW19 would be stripped of ranking points this year. 

Most of tennis’ big hitters are currently dialled in at the French Open, but talk continues to simmer over what Wimbledon will look like this year as the likes of Naomi Osaka stew on whether to compete. Rublev, who will not be allowed to turn out at SW19 despite being ranked seventh in the world, shed more light on his view of the ordeal. 

“Wimbledon broke an agreement with the ATP,” Rublev said at Roland Garros. “When you have a deal, you cannot break it, and they did.

DON’T MISS: Roger Federer sends classy message to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after emotional retirement

“It’s [important] to show that tournaments cannot do whatever they want. It’s more about teamwork. Tennis needs tournaments and players to work together. When we have a toxic relationship, like now, only bad things can happen.

“Only working together, tennis can be much more successful. Even if Wimbledon go with other Slams and try to create another tour, it will only destroy tennis. It will destroy glory, the many hundreds of years that tennis was building, all the big names, all the history.

“In the end, there is only one way and that’s to work together and not have a toxic relationship. It’s very important to keep the glory we’re having now because of these three players. What Roger, Novak and Rafa have done all these years, we have to respect this. Players need to defend the tournaments and tournaments need to defend the players.”

Rublev powered into the second round at Roland Garros thanks to a four-set win over Kwon Soon-woo on Tuesday. All the while, pressure continues to mount on Wimbledon amid swipes by players and further threats to boycott the event. 

Denis Shapovalov, a Grand Slam semi-finalist, suffered a straight-sets defeat against Holger Rune to see him crash out in the first round of the French Open before claiming that the pressure of Wimbledon being stripped of points affected his performance. 

Meanwhile, French tennis star Benoit Paire has caused a stir by challenging the ATP over their decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points. “I would like to know if ATP defends more [its] players or Russia,” he said.

“We have three or four Russian players, including [Daniil] Medvedev, and we are rallying against Wimbledon. I think it’s a pity, because if we were to listen to all the players, players do not understand this decision – 99 per cent of players, they want to have points and to play the tournament as it was before.”

Source: Read Full Article