Russian tennis champion Daniil Medvedev has called for world peace “on behalf of all the children of the world” as his country wages war on Ukraine.
The emotional appeal came following a poignant speech delivered after his loss to Rafael Nadal in this year’s Australian Open final, in which he took his press conference to his own leadership as he revealed a shocking truth.
“It’s going to be a bit of a new press conference because I’m going to start with a short or long story, I don’t know, of a youngster who dreamed of big things in tennis,” Medvedev told reporters.
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Daniil Medvedev frustrated by the crowd throughout the tournament
He then cut the face of a man shaken by the public’s disdain for him at the Australian Open, confessing “the kid stopped dreaming”.
Medvedev, an intense character susceptible to a racquet smash, a verbal assault on a referee and vitriol towards a crowd, had received a barrage of boos and been disheartened by the lack of support in the major at Melbourne Park.
“Do you all remember what I said after the Australian Open final?” Medvedev wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“This story was only about me, my childhood dreams.”
This led Medvedev to face the Russian invasion of Ukraine orchestrated by President Vladimir Putin, which left hundreds dead and worldwide condemnation.
“And today I want to speak on behalf of all the children of the world,” Medvedev added.
“They all have dreams, their life is just beginning, so many great experiences to come: first friends, first great emotions. Everything they feel and see is for the first time in their lives.
“That’s why I want to ask for peace in the world, peace between countries.
“Children are born with an inner trust in the world, they believe so much in everything: in people, in love, in safety and justice, in their chances in life.
“Let’s get together and show them it’s true, because every child shouldn’t stop dreaming.”
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