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Russian and Belarusian players are banned from Wimbledon in 2022 amid the invasion of Ukraine.
The ban means world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev will miss out on the tournament.
Medvedev spoke out on his ban for the first time this week, calling it unfair in a state media interview.
Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev, currently ranked second in the world, has spoken publicly for the first time about being banned from Wimbledon this year, calling it "unfair."
Medvedev, alongside all other tennis players from Russia and Belarus, was barred from entering the year's third Grand Slam in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking this week, Medvedev told Russian state news outlet TASS of his disappointment at missing out on tennis' best-loved tournament.
"On the one hand, I can understand [the decision] and, on the other, I find it unfair," Medvedev said in comments published on TASS' English-language site.
"This is a delicate situation because it sets a precedent and puts other sports competitions in an uncomfortable position. Where is the line? What are the rules that should lead to a possible exclusion?"
Medvedev went on to point out that many regular Russians are still allowed to live and work in the UK despite the invasion, questioning why it should be any different for elite athletes.
"For having discussed it with the ATP, we tennis players [are] considered, in terms of law, as independent workers. But currently in the United Kingdom, self-employed Russians have the right to work," he said.
Medvedev then suggested he still holds out hope that he may be allowed to play after all.
"If I have the opportunity to play at Wimbledon, I would be delighted. If not, I would accept it," he said.
Prior to the ban, Medvedev — who briefly ousted Novak Djokovic as World No. 1 earlier this year — was considered among the favorites to win the prestigious men's singles event at Wimbledon.
Reportedly, fears of a Medvedev win were partially behind the ban, with British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reporting worries that should the Russian win, he may have to be awarded his trophy by a member of the royal family, risking British embarrassment and handing Vladimir Putin a public relations win.
Like many Russian athletes, Medvedev has been largely silent on the invasion, speaking only in vague terms about being opposed to the general concept of war, rather than condemn the war being waged by his home country specifically.
"I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it's very upsetting," Medvedev said last week, per ESPN.
That stance likely reflects the fear many Russians have, that speaking out against Putin's invasion could have negative consequences for themselves or their families.
Read the original article on Insider