Novak Djokovic's ex-coach hits out at Wimbledon ban: Boris Johnson is crazy

Nikola Pilic gives thoughts on Russian players being banned from competing at Wimbledon.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic's ex-coach hits out at Wimbledon ban: Boris Johnson is crazy

Former Novak Djokovic's coach Nikola Pilic was furious after learning about the Wimbledon decision as he is wondering what Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have to do with what Russia is doing in Ukraine. Last week, Wimbledon announced Russian and Belarusian players won't be allowed to compete at Wimbledon.

Some believe the UK government pushed the initiative to ban Russian and Belarusian players and the Wimbledon organizers ultimately agreed to make that decision. Pilic, the 1973 French Open runner-up, said he would be curious to see what he would happen if other players decided to boycott Wimbledon.

"Boris Johnson is crazy! Rublev and Medvedev have nothing to do with Putin, they just want to play tennis just like everyone else. Politics has gone too far into sport and I think this situation could be very similar to that of '73.

In the sense, someone might say: 'if these tennis players don't play, we don't play either!' and, at that point, I'd be curious to see what Wimbledon's reaction would be," Pilic told Ubitennis.

Pilic met with Djokovic on Sunday

After the Belgrade final, Pilic took part in a special on-court ceremony that was organized by Djokovic.

While Pilic was making his way onto the court, Djokovic called him his tennis father. After sharing a hug, Djokovic handed Pilic a box with a gift. When asked about the Wimbledon decision, Djokovic also said he doesn't support Russian players being sanctioned for something they have no control over.

"Politics exists in sports, you have political structures in the organization. I am talking about higher instances of interfering politics. I stand behind what I said. There is no need to suspend any athlete, not just a tennis player," Djokovic said.

"I don't see how they affect the war. We have a rule in tennis on the prohibition of discrimination, which speaks of the rule of ranking non-nationality. Wimbledon violated that, the ATP spoke out."

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon Nikola Pilic