World No 2 Daniil Medvedev has received the backing from an 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion following recent calls for all Russian players to be banned from competitive competition. This comes following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to a number of sporting governing bodies banning Russian competitors and teams.
These include the likes of football and Formula 1, with FIFA and UEFA banning all Russian teams from competition, whilst the FIA scrapped the Russian Grand Prix from the F1 schedule. Tennis however has seemingly remained neutral, with no banning orders placed on players descending from the Eastern European nation. However, they must all compete under a neutral flag for the time being.
The lack of action from the ATP and WTA has led to many within the sport calling for a blanket ban on Russians, which would of course directly affect world No 2 Medvedev. Despite the criticism though, the 26-year-old has received some support from 18-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert.
Evert told Eurosport: “I don’t think they should be banned from tennis because of politics.I don’t think that they should be punished or reprimanded for what the leader of their country is doing. This is where I think there is a division between sports and politics.”
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