While Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios were battling it out for the men’s singles title at Wimbledon on Sunday, world number one Daniil Medvedev seemingly had better things to do than follow the action.
Medvedev was banned from this year’s Wimbledon because of the All England Club’s decision not to invite Russian and Belarusian stars.
And in a sign which fans and the British media interpreted as a clear snub, Medvedev took to social media to show that he did not seem overly bothered by missing what was going on in his absence.
In a video shared to Instagram Stories on Sunday, Medvedev showed himself kicking back at home with a laptop next to him and the TV on.
Rather than the green courts of Wimbledon, the sporting action to capture Medvedev’s attention was the Formula One Grand Prix unfolding in Austria.
“Perfect Sunday,” wrote the 26-year-old, adding a racing car emoji.
The message, which featured Medvedev’s trophy cabinet in the background, was quickly seized upon as a riposte to organizers at SW19 for their decision to bar Medvedev and his compatriots because of the conflict in Ukraine.
After the ban was initially announced, Medvedev had said he had mixed feelings about it.
“On the one hand, I can understand it and, on the other, I find it unfair. This is a delicate situation because it sets a precedent and puts other sports competitions in an uncomfortable position,” said the 26-year-old.
Even if he had lined up in London, Medvedev would not have been among the strong favorites for the title as he typically plays his best tennis on hard courts, rather than grass or clay.
His best-ever run at Wimbledon came last year when he reached the fourth round.
Instead, Medvedev will next target a return to hard-court events as he gears up to defend his US Open title in August and September. That event will allow Russians to compete under neutral status.
Despite not being cleared to compete at Wimbledon, Medvedev has not seen his world ranking suffer after the ATP stripped the event of ratings points as a punishment.
Medvedev maintained his position at the ATP summit in the updated rankings on Monday, while Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and beaten finalist Nick Kyrgios both dropped several spots.
Djokovic, who had criticized the ban on Russian and Belarusian players, claimed a seventh Wimbledon crown with his four-set victory over his Australian rival.
At the season’s final Grand Slam in New York it will likely be Djokovic who has to sit out the tournament due to the US banning unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country.
The Serb has said he is not planning to get the Covid-19 jab despite the prospect of missing out on the chance of a 22nd Grand Slam title, which would move him level with Rafael Nadal on the all-time list.
In the women’s event at Wimbledon, many pointed to the irony of Russian-born Elena Rybakina being crowned singles champion.
The 23-year-old, who has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, was awarded the trophy by British royal Kate Middleton, with claims before the tournament that organizers had been fearful of the Russian leadership being handed a “propaganda coup” if a star from the country triumphed.