Nick Kyrgios heads into Monday’s Wimbledon start disillusioned by the tournament ban on Russian players.
The controversial move in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine also serves as a safety for British royals, whose Duchess of Cambridge Kate would have to present a potential trophy to a possible Russian winner.
By way of retaliation, the ATP and WTA stripped the Grand Slam of its ranking point, turning it into something of a high-class exhibition with a massive GBP 40 million total prize packet.
Kyrgios said he hardly thinks the ban is good for the sport given that world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is a Monte Carlo-based Russian who has spent much of his life in the south of France.
“I don’t think it was a good idea to ban the Russian players, Medvedev is the best we have in our sport right now,” the Australian said.
“You look at some of their other players – (Andrey) Rublev, (Karen) Khachanov – they’re important young players for our sport to continue to grow.”
The No. 45 who returned to the Tour for the grass season after skipping clay and competed for three straight weeks – two semi-final places in Germany – added:
“Whenever we have cameras on and a lot of people tuning in, you want our best players to be on showcase for the sport to grow.
“As a competitor and someone that wants to go up against them, I’m disappointed they’re not here.
“It’s weird not seeing Medvedev here. We all know what he’s capable of.
But look, it’s done now. I’m sure that they’re (Russian players) going to be tuning in and watching, wishing they were here.
“They just want to be a part of it. I’m disappointed they’re not here.”