Daniil Medvedev unsure if he will be allowed to continue playing after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev is unsure if he will be allowed to continue after the world No 1 was banned from playing under his own flag after his country’s invasion of Ukraine

  • Daniil Medvedev has admitted he is uncertain if he can continue to play tennis 
  • Like all Russian and Belarusians, Medvedev cannot compete under his own flag
  • That sanction came following his country Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine 
  • Tennis authorities have said players can compete as individuals ‘at this time’ 

World no 1 Daniil Medvedev has admitted his uncertainty over his short-term future in the sport. 

The Russian tennis star was banned from playing under his own flag following his country’s invasion of Ukraine, with tennis authorities currently allowing players from Russia and Belarus to compete as individuals ‘at this time’.

And Medvedev, speaking on the eve of this year’s first Masters tournament at Indian Wells, insisted he wanted to continue but did not know if he could.

World No 1 Daniil Medvedev has admitted his uncertainty on his short-term future in the sport

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

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

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

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

He said: ‘It’s always tough to talk on this subject because I want to play tennis, play in different countries. 

‘I want to promote my sport, I want to promote what I’m doing in my country for sure, and right now the situation is that that is the only way I can play.’

When asked if he believed tennis would follow the examples of athletics, badminton, canoeing and rowing by fully banning Russian athletes, he replied: ‘We never know – some sports made this decision, especially I would think the team sports.

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (right) is also among the favourites for the upcoming competition

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (right) is also among the favourites for the upcoming competition

‘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.’ 

There are also no Russian or Belarusian athletes competing at the Beijing Winter Paralympics.

The prospect of top seed Medvedev or highly-rated second seed Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka winning at Indian Wells, even without a flag, would be a squirm-inducing and embarrassing prospect for many.

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