The tennis icons were called out by an angry UK MP amid reports the ATP could punish Wimbledon over its Russian ban.
A British MP has demanded that tennis greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer clarify their roles in the ATP’s possible decision to punish Wimbledon after it imposed a ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
Reports claim the ATP could announce a decision this week to strip Wimbledon of ranking points after strong sentiment among the Player Council, which includes Nadal and Federer, in favor of the move.
UK MP Chris Bryant has reacted angrily to potential sanctions for the grass-court tournament in London, accusing the ATP of acting. “horribly.”
“Federer and Nadal should be honest” said Bryant, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia.
“Do you want [Russian President] Will Vladimir Putin fail or do they not care?
“The men’s tour is behaving terribly. It is as if they did not know what is happening in Ukraine or do not care. Parliamentarian furious.
Nadal has previously described the Wimbledon ban as “unfair” but this week he was more cautious on the subject when he spoke on the sidelines of the Italian Open in Rome.
“I don’t have a clear opinion about it and I don’t want to declare anything,” said the record 21-time Grand Slam king.
“[The] The only thing we can do is stay in touch with Wimbledon and the rest of the ATP management to do the things that work best to protect all ATP players.
“In the end, that is our job: to protect the players and work [to] the benefit of each of the players we represent”, added the 35-year-old.
Federer, 40, has not made a public statement on the matter, although the Swiss veteran has been absent from the tour as he continues to recover from injury.
Wimbledon organisers, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), have isolated themselves among the tennis community by imposing a ban on Russian and Belarusian players from all British events this summer.
That is in direct contradiction to the policy of the ATP and WTA, which have stated that players from the two countries should continue to compete as neutrals.
Both organizations released statements suggesting that the Wimbledon ban is discriminatory, with suggestions that the women’s tour could follow its men’s counterpart and strip the Grand Slam of ranking points, effectively turning it into a lucrative exhibition event.
Wimbledon bosses have attempted to defend their stance by claiming that it is in line with UK government policy and that the appearance of players like Russian men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev at the SW19 tournament would somehow be a sign. one hit for him “Russian regime propaganda machine”.
The French Open, which begins in Paris on May 22, will allow Russian and Belarusian players to participate under a neutral status.
Svitolina wants guarantees that there are no “bad” Russians