Kudla earned a lucky loser spot at Queen’s following Andy Murray’s withdrawal and made the most of it by beating Lorenzo Sonego in the first round before pushing defending champion Matteo Berrettini to three sets. After the match, he responded to news that the US Open would be allowing Russian and Belarusian players to compete later this summer.
“It’s a tough situation,” he said of allowing athletes from the nations to compete on tour. “I’m not really too against the Russian players playing, they’re not really the ones that are doing it personally.”
The 29-year-old also admitted he couldn’t expect his Russian colleagues to speak out against the war because of the dangers they could face. Players from the country are banned from competing at Wimbledon but the All England Club had been given the option of letting Russian and Belarusian players compete as neutrals if they signed declarations denouncing the war, though Kudla explained why they couldn’t.
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