Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev used his platform at the Dubai Championships to speak out against war in Ukraine.
Rublev, ranked seventh in the world, wrote, “No war please” in marker on a TV camera after beating Hungary’s Hubert Hurkacz, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5), in a semifinal match.
Rublev wasn’t asked about the message in his on-court interview following the match.
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.
Daniil Medvedev, a fellow Russian tennis player who will be ranked No. 1 next week, spoke to reporters in Mexico about the invasion.
“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.”
The ATP is scheduled to play a tournament, the Kremlin Cup, in Moscow the week of Oct. 17. Other sporting bodies, including UEFA and Formula 1, have pulled events out of Russia in the wake of the invasion.