Novak Djokovic doesn’t think this ruling is an ace.
After Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 Championships amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tennis star spoke out about the decision during the Serbia Open.
“I will always condemn war. I will never support war being myself a child of war,” the Serbia-born athlete told reporters April 20, per ESPN. “I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history.”
“However,” he continued, “I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”
Earlier that day, in a statement shared from the All England Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships—which hosts Wimbledon—the organization expressed its “ongoing support for all those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine during these shocking and distressing times.”
“We share in the universal condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions,” the statement continued, “and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution.”