Daniil Medvedev was confirmed as the new world No. 1 in men’s singles tennis on Thursday, but the Russian star said it wasn’t easy to focus on tennis as he heard news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Medvedev won his quarterfinals at the Mexican Open against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan and set up a semifinal against Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal. When Novak Djokovic lost his quarterfinals in Dubai on Friday, Medvedev was confirmed as world No. 1.
In fact, alongside Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, Medvedev is the first man to be No. 1 in men’s singles since 2004.
However, Medvedev took time to address the conflict, saying he wanted to see people together and was for peace.
Russian Daniil Medvedev said he wanted to promote peace around the world after a “roller coaster day” when he was confirmed as the world’s top tennis player and his country invaded Ukraine.
“As a tennis player, I want to promote peace around the world,” said Medvedev after his quarterfinal victory in Acapulco.
“We play in so many different countries. I’ve been to so many different countries as a junior and as a pro. It’s just not easy hearing all this news. I am all for peace.”
MEDVEDEV PRAISES RUBLEV FOR UKRAN MATCHING
Medvedev’s compatriot Andrey Rublev, who is ranked seventh in the world, teamed up with Ukraine’s Denys Molchanov in Marseille last week to win a doubles title.
“That was amazing because I think people have to stay together and that’s the most important thing,” Medvedev said, referring to the partnership between Rublev and Molchanov.
“At that moment you understand that sometimes tennis isn’t that important,” he said, adding that he wanted to win his match.
“It definitely wasn’t easy to play and I’m glad I won the match. That was a little rollercoaster day.”
Rublev said he got some bad comments online about the situation in Ukraine.
“In these moments you realize that my match is not important. It’s not about my match, how it affects me. What’s happening is a lot more horrible,” Rublev said after beating American Mackenzie McDonald at the Dubai Championships late Thursday.
“You realize how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. It’s about. We should take care of our earth and each other. That’s the most important .”