Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev writes 'No War Please' after Dubai semifinal win

ByESPN.com news services via via logo
February 25, 2022, 12:39 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev wrote "No War Please" on a TV camera moments after advancing to the final at the Dubai Championships on Friday.

The seventh-ranked Rublev had just beaten Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in their semifinal match before writing his message on the camera -- as is common after matches.

Russian troops bore down on Ukraine's capital Friday in an invasion of a democratic country that has fueled fears of wider war in Europe and triggered worldwide efforts to make Russia stop.

Rublev on Thursday said he was getting some bad comments online because of the situation in Ukraine.

"In these moments, you realize that my match is not important. It's not about my match, how it affects me," Rublev said Thursday. "What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realize how important (it) is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. It's about that. We should take care of our earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

He will face Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely for the first time in the Dubai final on Saturday.

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.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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