World No 1 Daniil Medvedev has admitted that he fears for how long he will be able to compete on tour, even playing as a neutral.
With war raging in Ukraine, the 26-year-old Russian is aware that the dispensation for him and Belarusian players allowing them into the draw at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells may not last.
Talking of the ban introduced by some other sports he said: ‚We never know – some sports made this decision, especially I would think the team sports.
World No 1 Daniil Medvedev has admitted his uncertainty on his short-term future in the sport
‚Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone’s living in so many different places. There’s always a possibility, but I hope not.‘
This week’s top seed for the women’s event in the California desert, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, conceded that the atmosphere in the locker room was sombre, although she maintained she had not encountered hostility.
‚I feel really sad and really bad about Ukrainian citizens who lost their homes in the war,‘ she said.
‚But unfortunately it’s not under my control. I just hope for peace.‘
Medvedev – speaking before the Indian Wells tournament – was banned from playing under his own flag after his country’s invasion of Ukraine, like all Russian and Belarusian tennis players
Wimbleton is among the bodies closely watching the developing situation, and according to one source the hierarchy at SW19 is keenly aware of the potential optics of having Russians playing there this summer.
Emma Raducanu, who has been suffering from hip problems, is now expected to be able to play at Indian Wells. After receiving a first round bye she will face France’s Caroline Garcia.
Following a successful week in qualifying there is a bumper representation of four British men and four women in the main singles draws, with the first of them due to be in action on Thursday night.
Medvedev won’t be competing under a flag officially, but if the 24-year-old lifts the Indian Wells trophy there could be scope for embarrassment given the recent invasion of Ukraine
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (right) is also among the favourites for the upcoming competition