Rafael Nadal Sergiy Stakhovsky

‘How is it fair Ukrainians are dying?’ – Former ATP pro urges Rafael Nadal to reconsider Wimbledon ban stance

Ukrainian former world number 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky is disappointed in Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard voiced his opinion that the move by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players is unfair. 

The world number four made his views known to reporters ahead of his ATP return at the Madrid Open.

It comes after world number one Novak Djokovic gave his reaction last month and Andy Murray did so from the Spanish capital too, both opposing the ban like Nadal.

The 21-time Slam champion said: “I think it’s very unfair on my Russian [and Belarusian] tennis mates, my colleagues.

“It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war, I’m sorry for them.

“Wimbledon just took their decision, the government didn’t force them to do it.

“Let’s see what happens in the next weeks, if the players will take some kind of decision in that regard.”

Wimbledon recently explained their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 event, saying they made it to align with guidance from the UK government.

However, Stakhovsky who faced Nadal twice of the course of their careers, has publicly challenged the stance taken by the 35-year-old.

The Ukrainian tweeted, tagging the Spaniard: “Rafael Nadal, we competed together.

“We’ve played each other on tour.

“Please tell me how it is fair that Ukrainian players cannot return home?

“How it is fair that Ukrainian kids cannot play tennis?

“How is it fair that Ukrainians are dying?”

While the ban looks to remain in place for the time being, the ATP and WTA tours have revealed they will meet at the Madrid Open to discuss their response to the Wimbledon decision.

Both put out initial statements opposing the move made by the Slam.

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