Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev wrote “No War Please” on a TV camera moments after qualifying for the Dubai Championships final on Friday.
Rublev, seventh in the standings, had just beaten Pole Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the semi-finals when he wrote his message on camera, as is often the case after The matches.
Russian troops stormed the Ukrainian capital on Friday in an invasion that stoked fears of a wider war in Europe and sparked global efforts to shut down Russia.
Rublev was not asked about the message during his on-pitch interview immediately after the match.
Fellow countryman Daniil Medvedev spoke at the Mexican Open on Thursday about waking up to the news that his country had invaded Ukraine.
“Watching the news from back home, waking up here in Mexico, hasn’t been easy,” said Medvedev, who will become the No. 1 men’s player when the rankings are announced next week.
“Being a tennis player, I want to promote peace around the world,” Medvedev continued. “We play in so many different countries. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m for peace.”
Rublev will face Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely for the first time in the Dubai final on Saturday.
Vesely, who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, followed it up with another top-20 win when he outlasted Denis Shapovalov 6-7(7), 7-6(2), 7-6(3) over three hours.
“I’m having a dream race here,” Vesely said.