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Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2021

Novak Djokovic plays down Wimbledon boycott and suggests ‘there are better solutions’

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World number one Novak Djokovic has insisted that despite the Wimbledon ban on Russian and Belarusian competitors, it is unlikely that players would boycott the Summer Slam.

Last month, The All England Club (AELTC) and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced that due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, players from the two European nations will not be allowed to compete at grass-court events in the United Kingdom, which includes Wimbledon.

The sanctions mean that the US Open champion and world number two Daniil Medvedev and world number four Aryna Sabalenka are not currently able to compete.

In addition to these top seeds, there are three more Russian men in the top 30 of the ATP rankings, and six Russian and Belarusian players in the top 32 of the WTA rankings who would have been seeds at Wimbledon.

The controversial decision made by Wimbledon has received a lot of criticism and backlash from current players, including the likes of Grand Slam legends Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who has already labelled the ban as “crazy”, was asked if players would boycott Wimbledon and for his thoughts on the matter following his Italian Open victory on Sunday.

The Serb told reporters, “Athletes are here to do sports. If we expel them from sports just because they come from a certain country, that is a bad decision.

“We need communication with Wimbledon. I am not involved in player politics like I was 10 years ago and I do not talk to the representatives of Wimbledon – but they told me that they are very strict.

“[A] boycott is a very aggressive thing – as well as that there are much better solutions.”

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Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2021
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