Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev made a desperate plea for peace after notching an eighth consecutive victory in Dubai.
Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev made a plea for peace after notching an eighth consecutive victory with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) win against Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai.
The No. 2 seed signed the camera lens on court with the message, “No war please”, clearly stating his feelings about his nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Thursday after a long build-up. The invasion has killed an untold number of Ukrainians and triggered a humanitarian crisis. Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, have been condemned worldwide for the unprovoked aggression.
The 24-year-old had told reporters in Dubai on Thursday that he believed in peace and unity and he reiterated the sentiment after his win over Hurkacz.
“Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy,” Medvedev said. “By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m all for peace.”
Rublev won the title in Marseille last Sunday and has battled through some tight situations this week in the Emirates, rallying back from a set down in each of his last three matches.
He admits he has surpassed his expectations this week and has little left in the tank for his final showdown with Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Jiri Vesely on Saturday.
The world No. 7 was 0-2 against Hurkacz coming into the contest, and was admittedly exhausted after making the semi-finals in Rotterdam, winning Marseille, and reaching the semi-finals in Dubai in three consecutive weeks.
“I feel completely tired, to be honest,” Rublev said.
“Before the tournament I told my team, before we flew here, I already was quite tired after Marseille, I said, ‘I don’t know how (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, he wins two years in a row Marseille and two years in a row final here’. I don’t know how he did it.
“Have to be something incredible what he did. I couldn’t even imagine before that it was something that tough. This week I did the same and I still don’t know how, to be honest.”
Now through to the championship match, Rublev will be seeking a 10th career title and fifth at the ATP 500 level on Saturday.
On Friday, the Russian survived 27 aces coming off Hurkacz’s racquet en route to a two-hour 13-minute victory. Rublev will next take on Vesely for the first time in the final.
Vesely, who is just the second qualifier to reach the men’s final in the Dubai tournament’s 30-year history, followed up his big shock over world No. 1 Djokovic with a battling victory over Canadian No. 6 seed Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3) that lasted three hours and 12 minutes.
The world No. 123 is the lowest-ranked men’s semi-finalist in tournament history and is through to the biggest final of his career.
– with AFP and the New York Post