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“Peace Peace Peace All We Need” – Rublev signs off ATP Finals win with anti-war message
After beating fellow Russian, Rublev brings the spotlight back on the Russia Ukraine conflict with a peace message
When Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev took to the court for their round-robin clash at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy on Monday, both players walked in as neutral athletes unable to play under the flag of Russia.
Despite that, the presence of their country was inescapable on Day 2 of the tournament with Russia being the only nation to have more than one player in the eight-man season-ending finale.
The ban on Russian players from Wimbledon and other events in the United Kingdom and their inability to play under their national flag has been one of biggest storylines in the tennis world this year, even impacting the field in Turin due to the lack of points at Wimbledon.
And as he walked off the court beating Medvdev, Rublev brought that the story back into the spotlight as he signed off the cameras with a peace message which said, “Peace Peace Peace All We Need”, even as Russia has retreated from Kherson, the biggest city that it had invaded.
“I didn’t even had idea or something in my head before. Just come natural, that’s it” – Rublev
When asked to speak about the same in his press conference, Rublev said he wrote what came naturally to him and that it wasn’t a pre-meditated message.
“Not much to say. I think I did already many statement this year. I had opportunity. I did what I feel. I didn’t even had idea or something in my head before. Just come natural, that’s it,” Rublev said in his press conference.
“I think it’s important, especially in our time, like I was saying many times, to have a peace. We have Internet. We have easy life. We can fly, travel, do sports, take care of the family. No one wants to suffer or struggle. Many countries are suffering, and that’s it. That’s why I think it’s important to be together and have peace.”
This is not the first time that Rublev has spoken about his desire for peace amidst the Russia vs Ukraine war. He wrote “No war please” on the camera after winning the title in Dubai, making him one of the first players to talk about the issue earlier this year.
In a documentary released earlier this year with YouTuber Vitya Kravchenko, Rublev said he tried to negotiate with the All England Club to be able to compete at Wimbledon and had offered several suggestions that could enable him and other Russians/ Belarusians to play at Wimbledon without endorsing the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine.
“We offered some solutions that could be really helpful diplomatically – playing in mixed doubles with a Ukrainian player, not coming for the medals,” Rublev said. “We wanted to use the platform of a championship to show that we don’t fight here, that there’s no war in tennis. It’s most important now. As a tennis player, I could deliver the right message from the court.
“But I kept getting the same answer: Russian government is going to use our results for propaganda. So whatever I’d say, the reply was and is the same. I couldn’t understand why they would say so.”