DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Russian Andrey Rublev wrote “No War Please” on a TV camera moments after advancing to the final at the Dubai Championships.
The seventh-ranked Rublev had just beaten Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in their semifinal when he wrote his message on the camera – as is common after matches.
Russian troops bore down on Ukraine’s capital in an invasion that has fueled fears of wider war in Europe and triggered worldwide efforts to make Russia stop.
Rublev wasn’t asked about the message during his on-court interview immediately following the match.
Compatriot Daniil Medvedev spoke at the Mexico Open about waking up to news that his country had invaded Ukraine.
“Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy,” said Medvedev, who will become the No. 1 men’s player when rankings are announced next week.
“By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world,” Medvedev continued. “We play in so many different countries. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m all for peace.”
Rublev will face Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely for the first time in the Dubai final.
Vesely, who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, followed with another top-20 win when he outlasted Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (7), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) in more than three hours.
“I’m having a dream run here,” Vesely said.