Daniil Medvedev is eagerly “waiting for the moment” he can don his nation’s flag and colours again after the International Tennis Federation banned Russian and Belarusian insignia amidst the raging war.
In the wake of Russia’s and Belarus’ roles in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) took the decision to make Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under a neutral banner and withdrew the Moscow Open.
These strict sanctions come after Russia invaded Ukraine and Belarus offered Russia their military support and have been done as a form of deterrent to bring an end to the conflict.
Among those affected by the punishments on the ATP Tour are US Open champion and new World number one Daniil Medvedev, World number seven Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev.
Whilst World number three Aryna Sabalenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Victoria Azarenka, Veronika Kudermetova and Daria Kasatkina are amongst those impacted on the women’s side.
On the opposing side, World number 15 Elina Svitolina led the calls for the aforementioned punishments and announced she will donate all prize money she earns to the Ukrainian war effort.
Moreover, Sergiy Stakhovksy has joined Ukraine’s military reserves alongside boxing champions Oleksandr Usyk, Wladimir Klitchko and Vitaly Klitchko, who is also the Mayor of Kyiv.
Speaking to Russian state-owned domestic news agency RIA Novosti, Medvedev said “our task is to develop tennis in the countries where each of us comes from and all over the world.
“For that, you have to play tennis every week at every tournament. At the moment, the only way to continue is to play without a flag, and I will follow this rule.
“But I hope that this measure will be temporary. I am waiting for the moment when we will be able to carry the flag again next to our names, of the Russian athletes.”