World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has publicly stated that he is against wars or any kind of violence but suggested Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian players from competing at The Championship was a bit unfair. On Wednesday, the Wimbledon organizers announced a ban for all Russian and Belarusian tennis players.
The ban means that Wimbledon won't feature some of the biggest names of the game as Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka have all been banned from competing.
On Wednesday, Djokovic kicked off his Serbia Open campaign with a three-set win over Djere. After the match, Djokovic was asked to give his thoughts on Wimbledon's decision. "I will always be the first to condemn the war.
As a child of war, I know what kind of emotional trauma a war leaves. Us in Serbia, we know what was happening here in 1999, ordinary people always suffer, we've had a lot of wars in the Balkans. That being said, I cannot support the Wimbledon decision.
It's not the athletes' fault. When polititcs interfere with sports, it usually doesn't turn out well," Djokovic said, per Sasa Ozmo.
The ATP agrees with Djokovic
It didn't take long for the ATP to react as the same day they released a statement on Wimbledon's decision.
The ATP didn't hide its unhappiness, saying Wimbledon's decision was unfair. "We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.
Discrimination based on nationality also constitutes a violation of our agreement with Wimbledon that states that player entry is based solely on ATP Rankings. Any course of action in response to this decision will now be assessed in consultation with our Board and Member councils," the ATP said in a statement.