Rafael Nadal labels Wimbledon's ban of Russian and Belarusian players 'very unfair'

Rafael Nadal has suggested that Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players is unfair and will hinder them when it comes to ranking points.

With Wimbledon's June 27 start date fast approaching, the competition has continued it's stance on banning Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament.

The Wimbledon officials reiterated their position early last week, suggesting that the government's input left them no choice but to refuse Russian and Belarusian entries.

While many Ukrainian players have spoken positively about the decision, the majority of the reaction has been negative with the ATP and WTA threatening action.

The two sporting organisations have considered withdrawing any ranking points for the tournament, meaning the results won't affect the current world standings.

Rafael Nadal is planning his return to the sport after six weeks out with injury, and the 21-time Grand Slam winner has labelled Wimbledon's ban 'unfair'.

"I think it's very unfair (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. It's not their fault what's happening in this moment with the war," said Nadal.

"The 2,000 points, whenever we go to the grand slams, they are really important and we have to go to those tournaments. So we will have to see the measures that we take.

"At the end of the day, what happens in our game, it doesn't have any importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine."

The current world No.4 will hope to close in on Alexander Zverev in the world standings by piecing together an impressive run in the Madrid Open this week.

The Spaniard suffered a broken rib in last month's Indian Wells, but after six weeks he's returned to try and impress during his favoured clay season.

While the Madrid Open will obviously be important to Nadal, his sights will be firmly set on this month's French Open, and he's suggested he's feeling much better ahead of the tournament's start.

"Talking about the injury, I'm recovered, I feel good. Talking about my tennis game and preparations, well, it's a completely different story.

"Anyone who has broken a rib knows how limiting it is, very painful, especially the first weeks. I wasn't able to do anything without a lot of difficulties, even to fall asleep because of the pain.

"I have improved compared to when I came here but I still have up and downs because it's been a long time without being in these kind of situations and it's going to be a difficult week, for sure."

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