Former 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert offered empathy for Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian players and added Daniil Medvedev deserves to be ranked at No. 1 in the world. Medvedev clinched the No. 1 spot on the day Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine and Medvedev admitted he had mixed emotions afterward.
“I feel for any of the players who have come from that part of the world and who have family and roots, whether it's in Russia or Ukraine or Belarus,” said Evert in an exclusive conversation with Eurosport.
“It's got to be a big burden for these players to carry around while they're trying to compete. In order to compete at the highest level, you usually have to be focused on your tennis, and this isn't the case.
So, we have to have some understanding if these players don't exactly do as well as they're used to, that there's just so many more important things going on in their life than a tennis match. “In saying that, I think Medvedev, with his record, does deserve to be number one.
"He is a champion. He's grown into being comfortable with big wins on big stages. And his game has really developed and it's hard to find any weaknesses in him."
Medvedev replaced Novak Djokovic at the No.
Medvedev climbed up to No. 2 for the first time in his career last March. Medvedev spent the next year ranked at No. 2 in the world, before replacing Djokovic at the top spot two weeks ago. Medvedev has accomplished a lot over the last half a year as he won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and reached the No.
1 spot at the start of the 2022 season. It hasn't been easy for Medvedev over the last few weeks but he is happy that he is allowed to compete in international events.