Medvedev confused by chance to claim No. 1 ranking despite Wimbledon ban

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 24, 2022 Russia's Daniel Medvedev celebrates after winning his first-round match against Argentina's Facundo Bagnis Reuters / Dylan Martinez

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 24, 2022 Russia’s Daniel Medvedev celebrates after winning his first-round match against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis Reuters / Dylan Martinez

Paris-Russian Daniel Medvedev is still keen to play at Wimbledon next month and sees the situation as “very strange” that he could rise to the top of the men’s rankings even if he is eliminated from the Grasscourt Grand Slam, the world number two said on Tuesday.

The ATP and WTA snatched ranking points from Wimbledon last week after organizers banned Russian and Belarusian players from participating in the wake of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, which Russia called a “special operation”.

Medvedev briefly took over as world number one from Novak Djokovic in early 2022 and will be the highest-ranked player dropped from the major.

Djokovic, who will lose 2,000 points from last year’s trophy, is one of the many players who will be at a disadvantage and could drop in the rankings, paving the way for Medvedev to be overtaken.

“Very strange,” a smiling Medvedev told reporters when asked about returning to the top of the rankings despite not playing at Wimbledon. “I have to be honest.

“I would be really happy to play Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon. I love playing on the grass. I’ll play grass (somewhere else) after Roland Garros. But if I can’t, (I’m) just going to prepare for the next tournament and follow what’s happening there.

“No points, I’m number one. Well, great for me. If there are points, I can’t be number one, I’ll be disappointed. That’s what it is. I can’t change some decisions about both ATP and Wimbledon.

The Wimbledon ban is the first time players have been dropped due to nationality in the post-World War II era when German and Japanese players were banned.

ATP is logical

Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing by international tennis teams since the attacks but their players have been allowed to compete as neutrals except at Wimbledon.

The absence of a ranking point would reduce the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament to an exhibition event, and four-time Japanese champion Naomi Osaka said on Monday that she was “not 100% sure” about playing in the Grand Slam.

“I’m not saying any decision is correct, but at least so far in explaining their decisions, I think ATP is more logical,” Medvedev added.

French Benoit Pierre has said he considers it unreasonable that Medvedev could be number one without playing.

“I’m sorry for Russia and the Russians, but they are the cause of all the problems and all the ATP players are actually paying the price,” said the former World No. 18.

“Medvedev will be number one in the world. It is unreasonable. We should actually take a position for all the players in the world, and the opposite is happening right now.

“Yes, there is a war – so some sanctions can be imposed. However, the ATP should protect the majority of players, not four or five.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he launched a “special military operation” on February 24 to disarm Ukraine and free it from anti-Russian nationalism instigated by the West. Ukraine and its allies say Russia has started the war without provocation.

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