The statements of Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the exclusion of Wimbledon tennis players from Russia and Belarus due to the war in Ukraine has not sat well with several Ukrainian tennis figures.
Among the most vehement in his reaction is the former Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who hung up his racket last January after the Australian Open and who is currently enrolled in the Ukrainian Army, with which he participated in the defense of kyiv during the invasion by Russia in the first months of the war.
The words of Nadal, who had not yet positioned himself on the subject until this Sunday, reached the ears of Stakhovsky, who responded to the Balearic through his social networks. “Rafa Nadal, we have competed together, we have played together on the circuit. Please tell me: how fair is it that Ukrainian tennis players cannot return home? How fair is it that children in Ukraine cannot play tennis? How fair is it that Ukrainians are dying?”
@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 is it fair that Ukrainian kids cannot play tennis? How is it fair that Ukrainians are dying? https://t.co/l3bZtBEfsU
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) May 2, 2022
Stakhovsky’s is not the only reaction from Ukrainian tennis after the Wimbledon announcement to exclude tennis players from Russia and Belarus. Another Ukrainian tennis legend, Alexander Dolgopolov, who like Stakhovsky is enlisted in the Ukrainian army, has already charged hard against the Russian Andrey Rublev, to whom he said that “Maybe his ‘no to war’ meant Ukraine should surrender.”