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Wimbledon 2023: Daniil Medvedev 'will respect' decision on Russian participation amid ongoing Ukraine conflict

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam last year to refuse players from Russia and Belarus; then world no 1 Daniil Medvedev was the highest profile player to miss out on the 2022 event; Wimbledon working "very closely" with the UK Government and key stakeholders on 2023 decision

Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates after defeating Andrey Rublev of Russia during the men's singles final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Image: Russia's Daniil Medvedev was not allowed to compete at Wimbledon in 2022

Daniil Medvedev says he will respect whatever decision Wimbledon makes regarding the participation of Russian players at the tournament this year amid his home country's ongoing invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam last year to refuse players from Russia - including then men's No 1 Medvedev - and its ally Belarus, and tournament officials are expected to announce their policy for this year's event soon.

"I've said it so many times, I'm not going to say anything new. I'm for peace," Medvedev told reporters at the Indian Wells tournament in California.

The 2021 US Open champion, who is now ranked sixth in the world, said he would love to compete but will not try to influence tournament officials.

"I'm not going to make this decision for them or even help them make this decision. They have to make it by themselves for their different reasons like they did last year," he said.

Daniil Medvedev Wimbledon 2021
Image: Medvedev's last Wimbledon appearance came in 2021

"And I always said I will respect this decision. I play where I can play... tennis is my job so I would be really happy to play Wimbledon. I absolutely love that tournament, but if it's not meant to be, I'm going to wait for the opportunity to be back there."

In a statement issued to Sky Sports News on Thursday, Wimbledon organisers said: "We are continuing to work very closely with the UK Government and key stakeholders in tennis on this matter.

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"We have not yet made a decision on entries for The Championships 2023."

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 25: Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during the Quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open on January 25 2023, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka has also addressed the situation

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus echoed Medvedev's sentiments, saying the decision was out of her control but acknowledged being barred last year took a toll.

"The reaction of people, some different things made me feel really bad - that this is my fault," she said.

"But then I realised that this is not under my control. I did nothing, nothing bad against Ukrainian people. This is just not my fault."

Western military officials estimate casualties of the war on each side at more than 100,000 killed or wounded. Tens of thousands of civilians are also feared to have died, while millions have fled the threat of fighting.

Moscow calls the conflict a "special military operation" to protect its security and denies targeting civilians.

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