Tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic label ban on Russian and Belarusian players from this year's Wimbledon over Moscow's assault on Ukraine "unfair," saying they are not responsible for the offensive.
Novak Djokovic can defend his Wimbledon title after organisers say players who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to compete.
The grasscourt Grand Slam is the first tennis tournament to ban individual competitors from the two countries, drawing a sharp reaction from the world number one player.
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic to take on Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti in Dubai next week in a tough first round comeback following the drama surrounding his Australian Open deportation.
Following his historic win at the Australian Open, Nadal expressed that he is ready for more.
The tennis superstar's attitude toward the pandemic carries some traces of a mentality that many in the Balkans are trying to defeat.
With the men's world number one Novak Djokovic flying home after being denied entry to defend his title, the tournament remains wide open with Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all in contention.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said authorities in Australia "humiliated themselves" and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic called the decision to deport tennis player Novak Djokovic "scandalous."
The decision likely means that Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, will remain in detention in Melbourne until he is deported.
The tennis star has been placed under guard ahead of a federal court hearing regarding his possible deportation.
The tennis star's visa was cancelled over community health risk concerns, with the tournament set to begin on Monday.
World number four's criticism comes as Novak Djokovic was included in the Australian Open official draw, although it is still uncertain whether the Aussie government will cancel Djokovic's visa for a second time over breaking Covid protocols.
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