Andrey Rublev has made the shock claim that Russian compatriot Daniil Medvedev was invited to play at the Laver Cup last month, before the British government hinted that they probably wouldn’t allow it.
Rublev and Medvedev both played for Team Europe at the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston, but were conspicuously absent from the 2022 edition in London.
Team Europe instead featured Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Casper Ruud, Matteo Berrettini, and Cameron Norrie.
The event served as Federer’s farewell from professional tennis, with the Swiss legend bowing out of the sport after a doubles match alongside Nadal.
In a staggering new twist this week, Rublev has revealed that Medvedev was actually invited to play for Team Europe – but the British government ‘hinted’ that it wouldn’t be allowed.
Players from Russia and Belarus were infamously banned from Wimbledon this year due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with Rublev revealing the same issues came up in regards to the Laver Cup.
When asked if he was invited to play, Rublev told Russian publication Championat: “Not me. I know that ‘Dana’ (Medvedev) – yes.
“But the British government is there, and they hinted that it probably won’t work.”
Wimbledon’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus proved highly divisive, with the ATP and WTA stripping the grass-court grand slam of rankings points as a result.
That meant the event was effectively a high-profile exhibition, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios suffering as a result.
Djokovic lost 2000 rankings points despite winning the title, sliding down to World No.7 in the aftermath.
The 21-time grand slam champion lost all 2000 points he earned by winning the title at the All England Club in 2021.
Kyrgios also missed out on 1250 rankings points that he would have earned for making the final and is down at World No.20 instead of a potential spot in the top 10.
Women’s champion Elena Rybakina also missed out on 2000 points and is still down at World No.26.
Novak Djokovic in fine form after missing US Open
Meanwhile, Djokovic has continued his impressive form since his return to the ATP tour after missing the entire American hard-court swing due to his refusal to get vaccinated.
Djokovic dropped just two games to breeze into the last 16 at the Astana Open on Wednesday with a comprehensive victory over Cristian Garin.
The 35-year-old needed just 62 minutes to dispense with his Chilean opponent 6-1 6-1, dropping only six points on his serve in the match.
“From the start to the end, (it was) a great performance,” Djokovic said afterwards.
“Playing in a new tournament, different conditions, the first match is never easy.
“You are looking to see how you are going to adapt, but I did it perfectly, really, played as well as I can.
“I just made him work and used every opportunity that was presented to me.”
Djokovic won the Tel Aviv Open last week in his first tournament since the Laver Cup and first ATP event since Wimbledon.
He missed the US Open in September due to America’s requirement for overseas travellers to show proof of vaccination.