1991 Wimbledon champion Michael Stich says tennis can't be dependent on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as some other big names need to step up and show leadership skills. This week, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing at the tournament.
Federer and Nadal are both absent from the tour as the Swiss is recovering from a knee surgery, while the Spaniard has been out since Indian Wells due to a rib stress fracture. Usually, tennis would turn to Federer and Nadal in situations like this.
Novak Djokovic was asked about the Wimbledon decision this year but his reputation has taken a hit following all the vaccine drama. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 22 or 32. If you have a head on your shoulders, you should take responsibility for your job.
It’s not just about Roger and Rafa. There are a lot of other players. It’s up to them to jump in and show they are leaders. You cannot put the responsibility always to the older guy," Stich told The Telegraph.
Stich: Wimbledon will be devalued by the player ban
"I accept that politics is part of sport, even if it wouldn’t be in a perfect world,” Stich noted.
“But I think it’s tough to discriminate against a person just because of his or her place of birth. Stich, who sent a letter to AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt to explain why he thought they were wrong in their decision, further added: "I read that the rankings points could be taken away from Wimbledon but that would be even worse.
You end up with more losers because the Russians and Belarusians could not play but the people who do play receive no reward on the rankings. “Already the tournament will be devalued because you are taking out some of best players.
How much is winning the championships worth this year? Of course players can miss out due to injury, but now we have a decision from the tournament itself to take away some of the competition."