Djokovic calls for Medvedev and other Russians to return to Wimbledon in 2023

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Djokovic has made his feelings clear on the inclusion of Russian players at Wimbledon (Image: Getty Images)
Djokovic has made his feelings clear on the inclusion of Russian players at Wimbledon (Image: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has made it clear he wants Wimbledon's ban on Russian players lifted so the likes of Daniil Medvedev can compete at the All England Club in July.

Wimbledon placed a ban on players from Russia and Belarus at SW19 last summer in response to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Organisers were fined with the Grand Slam stripped of its ranking points by the ATP and WTA tours as several elite players in both the men's and women's game were affected.

The All England Club is still yet to announce whether the decision will be reversed or if a fresh ban will be imposed for the 2023 tournament as the conflict in Ukraine continues. But a decision could be made as early as the All England Club's annual press conference this spring, with players such as former world no.1 Medvedev desperate to return to the grass-court Grand Slam later this year.

And Djokovic, the winner of the last four Wimbledon men's singles titles, wants the rule prohibiting Russians and Belarusians from competing wiped ahead of July's tournament.

“Of course, of course, absolutely,” he said when asked whether he wanted to see every player compete in every Grand Slam. "I hope [Medvedev] and other Russian, Belarusian players will be able to play everywhere."

Novak Djokovic won Australian Open despite playing with major hamstring tear eridzriquhikeinvNovak Djokovic won Australian Open despite playing with major hamstring tear

Djokovic is back Down Under ahead of the Australian Open later this month, a year on from being deported in the visa saga that gripped the sporting world.

And the Serbian legend's assertion on banning players at Wimbledon comes after 2021 US Open champion Medvedev was among those barred from competing at this week's inaugural United Cup - a mixed gender team tournament.

Djokovic calls for Medvedev and other Russians to return to Wimbledon in 2023Medvedev was one of the star players banned from Wimbledon last summer (AFP via Getty Images)

Russians are unable to play in any international team events and world no.7 Medvedev instead entered the field for the Adelaide International with Djokovic, in what serves as the alternate final warm-up event before the first Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park.

“So far I haven't heard anything, and I completely understand why we are not playing Davis Cup or United Cup and team competitions where we would represent our country,” Medvedev said when asked on Russians returning to team events.

“Hopefully I can play the individual events, and as I said many, many times last year, I play what I can play, so here I can play Adelaide, and I'm really happy about it, and I want to show my best tennis.”

Ben Parsons

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