Rafael Nadal Criticizes ‘Unfair’ Wimbledon Ban - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Criticizes ‘Unfair’ Wimbledon Ban

The tennis star has become the latest high-profile player to speak out against the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian players.

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ATP RAFAEL NADAL OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

Tennis star Rafael Nadal says he believes it is wrong for Wimbledon to ban players for reasons not within their own control.

 

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has hit out at the decision by The All England Club (ALETC) exclude Russian and Belarusian players from participating in the tournament this year due to the war in Ukraine. Russia launched their military operations on February 24th and Belarus is suspected of supporting them. The British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has also implemented a ban which applies to ATP/WTA events taking place.

“I think it’s very unfair on my Russian tennis mates,” Nadal said in Spanish during his pre-tournament press conference in Madrid. “It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.’
“I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry for them. I wish it was not this way, but at the end of the day we know that this is what we have.”

Until now tennis had shown a united front when it came to addressing the Ukrainian war with the seven governing bodies, including Wimbledon, issuing a joint-statement earlier this year. At the time it was agreed that players from those countries would be allowed to play but only as a neutral athlete and their federations have been banned from team events.

The British ban has divided opinion in the sport with the ATP branding it as ‘unfair’ and says it could pave the way for a ‘damaging precedent’ in the sport. Meanwhile, the WTA has hinted that they will be conducting a ‘strong response’ but it is unclear as to what they may do. It is understood that the two organizations will hold talks during the Madrid Open.

During their Spring press conference, the AELTC has stated that the decision was made in light of recommendations from the British government on the matter. Although former world No.1 Nadal has hit back at that argument.

“When the government imposes some restrictions, you just have to follow them. In that case, the government gave a recommendation, and Wimbledon just took their decision, the more drastic position that they could take without taking into account — the government didn’t force them to do it.” He stated.

Nadal is currently a member of the ATP Players Council who makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Wimbledon falls out of the jurisdiction of the ATP and governs itself, which limits the influence the men’s governing body has on them. It is possible that they could decide to revoke the awarding of ranking points at the Grand Slam but that would be extremely unprecedented and no public talk of such an approach has been mentioned so far.

“We will have to see the measures that we take, and it’s very unfair thing for them (the banned players), for sure,” Nadal continued.
“But unfortunately, I would say that at this moment being a very complicated situation for those Russian players there is a lot of things happening. Russia and Ukraine, and at the end of the day, what happens in our game doesn’t have any importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine, very serious.”

Nadal will begin his clay campaign at the Madrid Open after missing recent weeks of the Tour due to a rib injury. He will be hoping to continue his stellar start to the season where he won 20 matches in a row before losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals of the Miami Open.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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The Wimbledon Naughty List: Which Players Have Been Fined And What For?

Ubitennis takes a look at who has been hit with a penalty and more importantly why.

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Nick Kyrgios might be the player everybody’s talking about due to his behavior but few realize that he is one of 19 to be hit with a financial penalty during the first week of Wimbledon.

In fact, more than $75,000 worth of fines has already been issued during the first week of the championships. According to official data, more than three times as many men have committed an offense than women. Although interestingly it is only two female players who have been punished for receiving coaching and nobody in the men’s draw.

Australia’s Kyrgios leads the leaderboard for the biggest fine after what has been a controversial past few days. In his first round match, he argued with the umpire and spat in front of some people in the crowd who he said were ‘disrespecting him.’ Resulting in him being hit with a $10,000 penalty. He later said during his press conference that he was tired of being verbally abused by some fans watching him play.

 

Then on Saturday in a dramatic clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas he argued once again with officials, got a warning for swearing and at one stage called for his opponent to be defaulted for hitting a ball into the stands. 

“Why would I need to apologize? I’m getting fined for it. Because I got — I always get fined. I’m very keen to see what he will get after today.” Kyrgios said following his third round win. 

Kyrgios has been fined another $4000 for his antics and Tsitsipas has to pay $10,000 for his behavior. The relationship between the two took another dramatic turn after the match when the Greek accused his peer of bullying during an explosive press conference

After Kyrgios, America’s Reilly Opelka was docked $5000 for swearing. The value of the fine is an interesting one when three other players have also been fined for the same offense but they only have to pay $3000. The difference could be due to repeated swearing during the match.

The majority of the men’s fInes are for either unsportsmanlike conduct or audible obscenities. The only exception is Benoit Paire who was fined $2500 for equipment abuse.

As for the ladies’ draw, Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko received the biggest fine ($4500) for coaching. Former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza was another player to be published for her actions.

Here is a breakdown of the fines issued between Day 1 and Day 6 of the championships. 

WOMEN

  • Daria Saville AUS (round one) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Lesia Tsurenko UKR (round two) $4500 – COACHING
  • Garbine Mugurza ESP (round 2) $3500 – COACHING
  • Harriet Dart GBR (round 2) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE

MEN

  • Fernando verdasco ESP (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Adrian Mannarino FRA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Stan Wawrinka SWI (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Yoshihito Nishioka JPA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios AUS (round one) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Pedro Martinez ESP (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Diego Schwartzman ARG (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Lukas Klein SVK (round one) $3000 –  UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Reilly Opelka USA (round two) $5000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Benoit Paire (round one) $2500 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Jiri Vesely CZE (round two) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina ESP (round two) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Denis Shapovalov CAN (round 2) £3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios (round 3) $4000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (round 3) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

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Grand Slam

(VIDEO) Day 7 at Wimbledon: Jannik Sinner Stuns Alcaraz, Djokovic Fights Back

Ubitennis found Ubaldo Scanagatta reflects on all the action that took place on Sunday with renowned commentator Steve Flink.

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Jannik Sinner joins a small group of only six Italian men to have reached the last eight at SW19. The 20-year-old ousted the fierce Carlos Alcaraz in four sets. Another four-set triumph was Djokovic’s win over Dutch walk card Tim Van Rijthoven.

 

Hall of Famer Flink joins Ubitennis to give his view on the events that have taken place. 

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