Medvedev will respect Wimbledon decision on Russian participation

INDIAN WELLS (Reuters): Russian Daniil Medvedev said he will respect whatever decision Wimbledon makes regarding the participation of Russian players at the tournament this year amid his home country’s ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam last year to refuse players from Russia and its ally Belarus, and tournament officials are expected to announce their policy for this year’s event soon.

“I’ve said it so many times, I’m not going to say anything new. I’m for peace,” Medvedev told reporters at the Indian Wells tournament in Southern California.

The world number six said he would love to compete but will not try to influence tournament officials.

“I’m not going to make this decision for them or even help them make this decision. They have to make it by themselves for their different reasons like they did last year,” he said.

“And I always said I will respect this decision. I play where I can play… tennis is my job so I would be really happy to play Wimbledon. I absolutely love that tournament, but if it’s not meant to be, I’m going to wait for the opportunity to be back there.”

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus echoed Medvedev’s sentiments, saying the decision was out of her control but acknowledged being barred last year took a toll.

“The reaction of people, some different things made me feel really bad – that this is my fault,” she said.

“But then I realized that this is not under my control. I did nothing, nothing bad against Ukrainian people. This is just not my fault.”

Western military officials estimate casualties of the war on each side at more than 100,000 killed or wounded. Tens of thousands of civilians are also feared to have died, while millions have fled the threat of fighting.

Moscow calls the conflict a “special military operation” to protect its security and denies targeting civilians.