Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev aimed a dig at Wimbledon chiefs after his first-round victory against Max Purcell on Monday.
The seventh seed beat his Australian opponent in straight sets on Court 3 with a 6-3 7-5 6-4 win on day one of this year’s Championships.
Rublev was unable to compete at Wimbledon last year due to the All England Club’s controversial ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
Quizzed if he felt the ban was a mistake, Rublev said: ‘I think that, I mean, we were talking, and I think we could find the solution.
‘Yeah, if we really want to help or do what is better for tennis and for the people, I think obviously there was better options.
‘Not just to ban. Because in the end, was no difference. They did only worse to themselves.
‘So in the end, I think, yeah, that there was for sure there was options to do much better for everyone.
‘For Wimbledon to, how you say, to take all the benefits from some actions, but it is what it is. Now we are here, and like I said, I’m really happy to be back and to compete.’
The 25-year-old has been a vocal critic of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and famously wrote ‘no war please’ on a camera at last year’s Dubai Tennis Championships.
Rublev was met with a welcoming atmosphere during his opening round win in SW19 and asked if it felt reassuring, he said: ‘Yeah, for sure.
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