Daniil Medvedev: Russian Invasion of Ukraine Is 'Very Upsetting'; Talks Wimbledon Ban

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2022

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - MARCH 29: Daniil Medvedev of Russia serves to Jensen Brooksby during the Men's Singles match on Day 9 of the 2022 Miami Open presented by Itaú at Hard Rock Stadium on March 29, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "very upsetting" and said he's hopeful Wimbledon will change its course and allow Russian players to participate in the Grand Slam. 

"I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it's very upsetting," Medvedev told reporters of the invasion.

Russia is in its third month of military operations in Ukraine, with the war leading to widespread condemnation of Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Several international sports organizations have outright banned Russian athletes from participating in events, but tennis has allowed athletes to continue competing.

Wimbledon changed course, banning Russian and Belarusian players as a way to "limit Russia's global influence through the strongest means possible."

 "I don't know if this decision is like 100 percent and it's over. ... If I can play, I'm going to be happy to play at Wimbledon. I love this tournament," Medvedev told reporters.

A number of high-profile athletes have spoken out against Wimbledon's decision. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were highly critical of the ban, saying it's unfair to the players, who are not involved in the military actions. 

"I think it's very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. In that sense it's not their fault what's happening in this moment with the war," Nadal told reporters.

"Let's see what happens in the next weeks, if the players will take some kind of decision ... there's one thing that's negative, there are things that are clear. When the government imposes some restrictions, you just have to follow them."

Medvedev has never gotten past the fourth round at Wimbledon but has reached the final in three of the past five Grand Slams overall. He's currently the No. 2-ranked player in the world.