Rafael Nadal on rumours Wimbledon will lose ranking points over Russia ban

Rafael Nadal talks to the press

Rafael Nadal has previously suggested that removing the ranking points from Wimbledon would not be a suitable punishment for their All England Club’s decision to ban Russian as Belarusian players this summer, but the 21-time Grand Slam champion has hinted some players are now pushing for that strong response.

Speaking at the Italian Open, Nadal was asked about the rumours suggesting the ATP’s top players are in favour of stripping Wimbledon and the British grass court events of their ranking points this summer in solidarity with their fellow players who will not be allowed to play.

While that stance may have Russian leader Vladimir Putin a big PR win in the eyes of the watching world, Nadal has now appeared to confirm a decision on what happens next in this story is close.

The impact of removing ranking points could be the absence of star names at British tournaments this summer, with Nadal suggesting a balance needs to be struck.

When quizzed by reporters on what should happen to the tournaments banning Russian and Belarusian players he stated: “I don’t have a clear opinion on that, so I prefer to not give you a clear answer. And that’s it.

“There are some private conversations on the council about this kind of stuff, something that honestly I think it’s not good to (make) public.

“The only thing that we can do is to be in touch with Wimbledon and with the rest of the ATP management to do the things that work better to protect every single player in the ATP.

“At the end that’s our job, to protect the players and to work in the benefit of every single player that we are representing. That’s all. The rest of the things I am not able to talk about.

“What’s going to be fair or more or less fair for everybody – nothing is perfect. When things like this happen, nothing will be perfect because we have to know that not for everybody it will be perfect.

“My personal opinion I am going to say it and I have already said it in private, but this is about the [ATP] Tour, it’s not about my opinion.”

Nadal previously stated his opposition to the ban on players by Wimbledon and the LTA, as he made these comments last month: “I think it’s very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. In that sense it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.”