Rublev: Wimbledon ban on Russian and Belarusian players is ‘complete discrimination’
Andrey Rublev has accused the All England Lawn Tennis Club of discrimination after being blocked from competing at Wimbledon this year.
Andrey Rublev says Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players is “complete discrimination” and does not make sense, while suggesting that if the All England Club wanted to do something positive for Ukraine it could donate prize money to humanitarian causes.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club this week announced that players from the two nations are prohibited from competing in the event following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rublev is one of three top-10 players, alongside compatriot Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who has been blocked from playing at SW19 in June.
World number one Novak Djokovic labelled the decision “crazy”, while Billie Jean King and governing bodies ATP and WTA have also called for a rethink.
Rublev, whose best finish at Wimbledon came last year when reaching round four, believes there is a more logical solution.
Rublev: “To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect”
“What is happening now is complete discrimination against us,” he told reporters after beating Jiri Lehecka on Thursday to progress to the Serbia Open quarter-finals.
“The reasons they gave us made no sense, they were not logical. Banning Russian or Belarusian players... will not change anything.
“To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect to humanitarian help, to the families who are suffering, to the kids who are suffering.
“I think that would do something. Tennis will, in that case, be the first and only sport who donates that amount of money and it will be Wimbledon so they will take all the glory.”
The Belarusian Tennis Federation released a statement on Thursday stating it is seeking legal advice regarding the decision to ban their players from Wimbledon.
“Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts but only incite hatred and intolerance on a national basis,” the governing body said.