Russian star Daniil Medvedev unsure about future amid Ukraine invasion

Tennis

Russia’s world number one Daniil Medvedev says he’s unsure if he will be allowed to play on amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but wants to continue promoting the sport.

Russian athletes have been banned from athletics, badminton, canoeing and rowing and there are no Russian or Belarusian athletes competing at the Beijing Winter Paralympics.

Along with several other athletes from Russia and Belarus across multiple sports, Medvedev is no longer able to compete under his own flag. However, tennis bosses say players can compete as individuals “at this time”.

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Speaking on the eve of the first Masters event of the year in Indian Wells, Medvedev said: “It’s always tough to talk on this subject because I want to play tennis; play in different countries.

“I want to promote my sport, I want to promote what I’m doing in my country for sure, and right now the situation is that that is the only way I can play.”

Asked if he thought tennis would implement an all out ban on players from Russia and Belarus, Medvedev replied: “We never know – some sports made this decision, especially I would think the team sports.

“Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone’s living in so many different places.

“There’s always a possibility, but I hope not.”

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is the top seed in the women’s singles at Indian Wells, in the absence of Ash Barty and Barbora Krejcikova,

She says other players haven’t treated her differently since the invasion began but admitted the players’ area is not as happy as it usually is.

“I feel really sad and really bad about Ukrainian citizens who lost their homes in the war,” she said.

“But unfortunately it’s not under my control. I just hope for peace.

“At least we can play. I do understand [why she can’t play under the Belarusian flag], but it’s not under our control. We also feel really sad and really bad about this situation.”

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