Rafael Nadal is back on court after his injury and is making his clay court debut. Due to a stress fracture in his ribs during the Indian Wells semi-final, the Spanish champion decided to stop for two months, thus skipping the start of the European clay court season.
For his return, the winner of twenty-one Grand Slam titles has chosen the Mutua Madrid Open. During the press conference that anticipated the first match (with the winner between Kecmanovic and Bublik), Nadal could not avoid the topic of recent weeks: the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian tennis players from the Wimbledon tournament.
After weeks of silence, the number four in the world has decided to give his opinion on this choice by the organizers of the English Slam: “I find it very unfair to the players, my teammates”
Rafael Nadal: “Wimbledon? Unfair to my teammates”
Nadal then added: “There is little they can do. I don’t know what their fault is in what is happening right now with the war.
I feel so sorry for them and I wish that wasn’t the case. When the government takes measures you have to follow them, in this case the government has given a recommendation and Wimbledon has made its decision, as drastic as possible.
It’s very unfair to them, but what happens in our sport is almost irrelevant when so many people die and suffer.” Another issue Nadal has been asked to address is sanctions for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
“Times and personalities change, but there are limits that cannot be crossed. Endangering the health of line judges or ball boys is crossing too critical a line”, said Rafa Nadal, referring in particular to Zverev’s gesture in Acapulco.
And he added: “In that sense, I think it is true that the sanctions have been few and severe in the first three or four situations of the year.
A few weeks ago a private letter was sent to players warning that from now on extreme behavior would be penalized more drastically. I understand the frustrations, but the players will think about it more.”