Rafael Nadal refuses to back possible Wimbledon sanctions saying: 'There is no perfect solution'

Rafael Nadal makes winning start in Rome, but won't publicly back possible Wimbledon sanctions.

Rafael Nadal refused to be drawn on possible sanctions for Wimbledon but confirmed he has been involved in discussion over the matter.

Wimbledon have caused fury within tennis by banning all Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament this year due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

That has broken with the policies of the ATP and WTA of allowing players to continue to play, but not under their nation's flag.

Wimbledon now faces the very real possibility of having its ranking points stripped, essentially turning it into an exhibition event this summer.

"No and I don't have a clear opinion on that, so I prefer to not give you a clear answer - and that's it," Nadal said when asked the ATP Players Council would support stripping Wimbledon of its ranking points.

"There are some private conversations on the council about this kind of stuff, something that honestly I think it's not good to [make] public.

"The only thing that we can do is to be in touch with Wimbledon and with the rest of the ATP management to do the things that work better to protect every single player in the ATP.

Wimbledon aerial view

"At the end that's our job, to protect the players and to work in the benefit of every single player that we are representing. That's all. The rest of the things I am not able to talk about."

Pressed on whether a rankings freeze on affected players during the event would be a better solution than a ban, Nadal said: "What's going to be fair or more or less fair for everybody - nothing is perfect.

"When things like this happen, nothing will be perfect because we have to know that not for everybody it will be perfect.

"My personal opinion I am going to say it and I have already said it in private, but this is about the [ATP] Tour, it's not about my opinion."

On the court, Rafael Nadal continued his comeback from a rib injury by easily overcoming big-serving American John Isner 6-3, 6-1 in his first match at the Rome Masters on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu confirms pre-Wimbledon plans as she adds British event to schedule

Latest news