After making it all the way to the Dubai Tennis Championship final, Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev reaffirmed his plea for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
The 25-year-old defending champion defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (11-9), and will take on fellow countryman Daniil Medvedev on Saturday after the latter defeated Novak Djokovic.
Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Rublev scrawled “no war please” on a camera lens on his way to winning the title the previous year.
He remarked on Friday, “You cannot behave like nothing is happening.
“That is awful. It’s absurd that so many ordinary people are in pain and dying. The only thing I can hope for is that all nations will experience peace soon.”
The sixth-ranked Rublev honored the late Soviet rock icon Viktor Tsoi by once more signing the camera lens with the message: “Tsoi is alive” after defeating Zverev for the first time in six encounters.
Because of his voice’s strength, “he was one musician from a previous generation who I think had great volume on USSR,” continued Rublev.
“That was not a simple period. The lyrics he was creating at the time offered the populace a great deal of optimism. I only wrote it because I believe comparable things are happening right now.”
Djokovic’s unblemished start to 2023 came to an end as Medvedev defeated the world’s top player in straight sets.
Despite being on a 20-match winning streak when he lost 6-4 6-4 to Medvedev, Djokovic had advanced to the semi-finals.
Players from Russia and Belarus were prohibited from competing at Wimbledon in 2017 and are awaiting word on their eligibility for this year’s competition.