Wimbledon hurt themselves with ban on Russian and Belarusian players – Rublev
Andrey Rublev believes Wimbledon was wrong to ban him and his fellow Russians last year and said the only loser was the event itself.
The All England Club this year overturned its controversial decision to not allow players from Russia and Belarus to compete in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
“I think that, I mean, we were talking, and I think we could find the solution,” said world number seven Rublev after becoming the first man into the second round at this year’s Championships.
“Yeah, if we really want to help or do what is better for tennis and for the people, I think obviously there were better options. Not just to ban. Because in the end, (there) was no difference. They did only worse to themselves.
“So in the end, I think that there were options to do much better for everyone.
“Now we are here, I’m really happy to be back and to compete.”
The ATP and WTA tours subsequently stripped Wimbledon 2022 of ranking points in response to the ban.
This year, Russian and Belarusian players have all signed declarations stating they will not express support for either regime and that they are not receiving any direct or indirect government support.
Rublev, 25, recovered from 2-5 down in the second set on his way to beating Australian Max Purcell 6-3 7-5 6-4.
His victory set up an all-Russian clash with Aslan Karatsev in the second round.