Rafa Nadal slammed by Ukrainian tennis legend who is fighting on front line after Spaniard backed banned Russians
RAFAEL NADAL has been slammed by retired Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky, who is fighting in the war for supporting the banned Russian athletes.
As a result of Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, Russians and Belarusians players cannot play in the UK this summer as they are barred from Wimbledon and other LTA tournaments.Sergiy Stakhovsky became a Ukraine hero when he beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon nine years ago[/caption] Sergiy Stakhovsky now fights as a soldier on the frontline protecting his country from Russian invasion[/caption] Rafael Nadal has openly criticised Wimbledon for banning Russia and Belorussian athletes calling it “unfair”[/caption]
Speaking on Sunday at the Madrid Open, Nadal said the ban was “very unfair” and it was “not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.”
These comments angered former player Stakhovsky, who returned to his home city of Kiev and joined the Ukraine’s military reserves.
Stakhovsky, 36, tweeted Nadal directly and said: “Rafa, we competed together.
“We’ve played each other on Tour. Please tell me how it is fair that Ukrainian players cannot return home?”
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In other tweets, Stakhovsky said: “If anyone could please find a quote where Russian or Belarus players condemn the invasion in Ukraine?
“Did they say that bombing major cities in Ukraine (full of civilians) is a barbaric act?”
“Did they condemn the invasion into a sovereign country?
“And don’t tag the “no war” or “stop war” (signs) because these statements sound like if the Ukrainians stopped fighting the war would stop.
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“How it is fair that Ukrainian kids cannot play tennis? How is it fair that Ukrainians are dying?”
The decision to ban these players from an important part of the grass court season will influence the likes of Russian duo, Daniil Medvedev the world number two and world number eight Andrey Rublev.
In the women’s game, world number four Aryna Sabalenka and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka are also not allowed to compete.
Stakhovsky himself has former Wimbledon pedigree, when he famously defeated defending champion Roger Federer in the second round at the All England Club in 2013.
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