Navratilova, who was born in 1956 in the Czechoslovakian capital Prague, remembers playing a Russian in a junior tournament there shortly after the invasion of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries in 1968 to suppress a democratic movement.
“I know it’s so emotionally difficult,” she said. “I was 13, almost 14. I wanted to beat that junior and, in fact, when I shook his hand after I did, I said, ‘See, your tanks can’t beat us. !’ So, I get it. You feel like you’re playing for your country, and it hurts! And I knew she had nothing to do with it, but I still took it personally. So, I understand to where does Kostyuk come from, how bad it hurts, but I don’t think you can punish people at this level.
Medvedev, who has been based in the south of France or Monte Carlo since he was a teenager, said that in his opinion “tennis is a very individual sport”.
He said that as long as he had the chance, “I’m going to be there trying to play for the fans, play for other people, for me too, of course.”
But although both the men’s and women’s circuits have reiterated their support for the current approach, Medvedev knows there are no guarantees. Although he never played his best tennis in the desert heat of Indian Wells, one also has to wonder how much uncertainty and war impact his state of mind or how much it could have had an impact on his tennis against Monfils on Monday, as Medvedev’s precise play collapsed in the final set amid a flurry of double faults and unusual errors.
“Let’s see how the situation develops,” he said of the opportunity for Russian athletes to compete.
Next up: The Miami Open, where the men’s main draw begins on March 23 and where, with Djokovic still not expected to play due to the travel ban, Medvedev can reclaim the No. 1 ranking by reaching the semis -finals.
But that, at this point, is not his biggest concern.