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Rublev: There’s no war in tennis – I offered ideas so I could play at Wimbledon
The Russian was desperate to play the third Grand Slam of the year
Andrey Rublev says he offered a series of suggestions that could enable him to play at Wimbledon without endorsing the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine.
In a feature-length documentary with YouTuber Vitya Kravchenko, the Russian spoke about his efforts to negotiate with the Championships and be able to compete there – despite the blanket ban on all players from Russia and Belarus.
“We offered some solutions that could be really helpful diplomatically – playing in mixed doubles with a Ukrainian player, not coming for the medals,” he revealed. “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.”
Rublev: It’s upsetting to be forbidden from doing my work
He admitted that he thought the only acceptable solution as far as Wimbledon were concerned would be if Russian and Belarusian players changed their citizenship – which he would only consider if banned from all tournaments altogether.
“Of course I was frustrated. Everything I earn, I invest in my career, and then I’m forbidden from doing my work. It is upsetting for sure.”
And when asked if he realised that he may never play the Olympic Games again, Rublev replied: “I still hope to play there again in the future, I really wish I could. I’m insanely happy to have played and won the Olympic gold.”