Now it's official: Russian and Belarusian tennis players will not be able to take the field at the next Wimbledon tournament. The New York Times had launched the indiscretion in the last few hours and everything suggested that the organizers of the prestigious London event would have declared their intentions during the presentation of the tournament, scheduled for next week.
The harsh reaction of the Kremlin and the numerous news spread on social media have probably accelerated the times and prompted the leaders of Wimbledon to make their decision public immediately. “On behalf of the All England Club and the Championships Management Committee, we wish to express our continued support to all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine during these shocking and distressing times,” the statement read.
“We share the universal condemnation of Russia's illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, our community and the wider UK public as a British sporting institution.
We have also taken into consideration guidelines set by the UK government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events. Given the profile in the UK and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia's global influence by the strongest means possible.
Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas have combined to win five of the last six Monte-Carlo Masters titles. They are also the only players to win back-to-back titles at the event since 2003.
Rafa is the most successful player in men’s singles
Speaking at his press conference after losing the 2022 final against Tsitsipas in straight sets, Davidovich Fokina was all praise for his vanquisher.
"It's very different. It's different because, in the end, Rafael Nadal is a lefty and, you know, when we play against him we always play the backhand. [That's why] it is tough to play against Rafa," he said.
"Stefanos has a one-handed backhand. But it is not easier to play [against Tsitsipas] than Rafa either. It's a different ball. Physically, Rafa, he's a beast." Rafael Nadal continues to lead the 2022 ATP Race to Turin, despite having missed out on the last two Masters 1000 tournaments.
The Spaniard has accumulated 3,350 ranking points from four tournaments so far. Rafael Nadal is a true legend on and off the court. The Spaniard is the most successful player in men’s singles in terms of Grand Slam titles.
Earlier this year, he lifted the Australian Open title, overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the list of the number of major titles.