Banning Daniil Medvedev and all other Russian players ‘right thing to do,’ claims Ukraine star
Alexandr Dolgopolov believes “tennis is being too soft and neutral” in their sanctions and has urged governing bodies to outright ban Russian players, including World number one Daniil Medvedev.
Former World number 13 Dolgopolov has joined fellow tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky, as well as boxing champions Oleksandr Usyk and Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko in enlisting in his nation’s military reserves.
This comes after a global effort to aid the Ukrainian war and humanitarian relief efforts in their war against Russia.
From a tennis perspective, all three major governing bodies (The ATP, WTA and ITF), as well as all four Grand Slam organisers donated a combined total of $700,000 (£532,000) to aid humanitarian relief.
Meanwhile, women’s World number 18 Elina Svitolina and refugee Dayana Yastremska revealed that they will donate their prize money to the Ukrainian war effort.
Whilst three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will donate his prize money earnings to UNICEF to provide medical supplies and children’s education equipment.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) also ruled that Russian and Belarusian players must compete as ‘neutral athletes.’
However, Dolgopolov doesn’t feel that this punishment is strong enough and has joined the calls to outright ban Russian players.
In an exclusive interview with Eurosport, Dolgopolov said “the [Russian and Belarusian] tennis players, you see their speeches are really, really careful.
“They are not saying ‘we condemn the war of our army, our government’, they’re just saying ‘we are against war.’
“For me, this is not enough when such things are happening.
“For me, tennis is being quite soft and too neutral. We can see what soccer did. They just banned all their teams. They’re not playing anymore.
“Soccer and many sports have done that and that’s the right thing to do. Obviously I understand for the tennis players it’s not their fault, but at this point with the amount of victims of this war, every Russian is responsible until they stop their president.”
Speaking about joining Ukraine’s military reserves, Dolgopolov said “it was my decision and no one can stop me. My father was sad. It was tough when we split. He was very worried and obviously no one wanted me to be here.
“But that’s the reality. It’s war. What can we do? I’m sure that no one from our guys wants to die or be in this war, but it’s our land.”
Used to be rackets and strings, now this🙄🙏🏻🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/hdYjMDlMuo
— Alex Dolgopolov (@TheDolgo) March 16, 2022
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