Daniil Medvedev is preparing to start his first tournament as world number one
© Matthew Stockman / Getty Images
Daniil Medvedev has admitted he is uncertain if Russian tennis stars can avoid the kind of blanket bans imposed in other sports, as the newly-crowned world number one expressed a wish for “peace in all the world.”
Medvedev overtook Novak Djokovic at the pinnacle of the men’s rankings at the end of last month, becoming the first new name outside of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to achieve the feat in the last 18 years.
The 26-year-old Russian is preparing to start his first tournament in his lofty new ranking but will do so without his country’s flag after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) banned Russian symbols because of the military operation in Ukraine.
The ITF stopped short of following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to issue outright bans on Russian and Belarusian athletes, but did prohibit the two countries from team events including the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup – where Russia are defending champions at both tournaments.
Medvedev recently removed the Russian flag from his Instagram account and admitted ahead of the ATP Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells in California this week that he was uncertain about his status moving forward.
“We never know – some sports made this decision [to ban all Russian athletes], especially I would think the team sports,” Medvedev said.
“Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone’s living in so many different places. There’s always a possibility [of a full ban], but I hope not.”