Andrey Rublev Indian Wells 2022

“Tennis is independent” – After Wimbledon ban, Russian star Andrey Rublev believes tennis can lose the politics

World no.8 Andrey Rublev reflected on the position that tennis can hold in a world where politics is high up the agenda 

Andrey Rublev was banned from playing the most important tennis tournament of the year, Wimbledon, because he’s Russian and his home country had invaded Ukraine, not because of anything he has done personally in his chosen sport. But he’s not naive enough to believe that politics doesn’t come into sport however he does hope that tennis in particular can remain independent enough and the authorities can tread the right line to make sure that politics doesn’t have an undue influence.

Rublev was speaking after an assured victory in Washington over up and coming British player Jack Draper when he was asked if tennis can become a platform for world unity.

“Of course I think politics were always in sport. Everybody knows this. But I do believe that by being united and doing good things for the peace, tennis can be, in general, if tennis will be example of it, maybe other sports will follow, and in general, maybe one day sport can be without politics.

“Obviously at least I believe that tennis can be without politics, because tennis is something that is independent. I think it’s one of not many sports that’s independent from the rest of the sports.

“We have players from everywhere. We play every country. There is not one place that we are performing. We are traveling all around the world.

“So we cannot, I don’t know, I think tennis have a good chance to be outside of politics, because, yeah, we have all the nations. We have boys and girls, so many, all the continents, so many countries, so many tournaments per year, and I think then it depends already of the persons who works in ATP, WTA, also the players, because in the end you have to start from yourself.

“If each of us start first from ourselves, then maybe at least I do believe in this, yeah.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.