Alexander Bublik says governments and tournament organisers have “the right” to ban players from competitions but does not feel politics and sport should be mixed.
Russian and Belarusian players have been banned by the All England Club from taking part at Wimbledon this summer in wake Russia’s of invasion of Ukraine.
Despite their decision being criticised by the ATP, WTA and some of the world’s best players, tournament organisers have remained defiant. All England Club (AELTC) chairman Ian Hewitt says they have made “the most responsible decision possible” by banning players from both nations.
Bublik says tournament organisers and governing bodies can decide what they choose, but thinks sport is mostly about entertainment and not for the purpose of making political statements.
“I don’t want to judge whether it’s right or wrong, but I’ll be happy to tell you what I think about it,” the 24-year-old exclusively told Eurosport.
“It is a decision of the government and the organisers. You have the right to do so.
“For me, sport is also a distraction from normal life, if you will – and no sport should be mixed up too much with politics.
“It’s all about getting comfortable with a beer in front of the TV and following your favourite player or team. It’s a great pity for the fans that this is now limited.
The ATP and WTA are holding a meeting in Madrid this week to determine “sanctions” on Wimbledon and the LTA.
The world No. 32 insists he and his fellow players on the ATP tour are not discussing the ban.
“You seem to be sure that we are talking,” he said. “I’m telling you: I’m not talking to anybody. I had only a few proper conversations, tennis is an individual sport. We are not exchanging ideas now about the decision that Wimbledon has taken.”
Bublik switched allegiances from Russia to Kazakhstan in 2017 and does not hold a Russian passport. He says he is proud to represent Kazakhstan where he was born.
“I no longer have a Russian passport, because two citizenships are not allowed,” he added.
“I have no connection with the tennis federation in Russia. I am a Kazakh and have been playing for the country for almost six years.
“I am proud to represent Kazakhstan. In the Davis Cup, at the Asian Games or at the Olympic Games.”