Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has voiced her protest against the Russians amid the war crisis in Ukraine. On Monday, she said that she would refuse to play Russian and Belarusian tennis players in tournaments. Elina Svitolina also slammed the governing bodies of tennis, shortly after two of her compatriots aimed a swing at the WTA when they criticized the organization for not taking a position on the Russian invasion of their country. Se is drawn to play Russian Anastasia Potapova in her first match in WTA and two other Russians, Kamilla Rakhimova and Anna Kalinskaya, are also in the draw.
Elina Svitolina takes a bold decision
Elina Svitolina, ranked 15th in the world recently took to her Twitter account and issued an official statement regarding her decision. “I want to announce that I will not play in Monterrey, nor any other match, against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organizations take the necessary actions,” Svitolina wrote on Twitter.
“I do not blame Russian athletes,” she wrote. “I wish to pay tribute to all players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”
But, she wrote, the governing bodies of men’s (ATP), women’s and international (ITF) tennis needed to take necessary steps. “I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations: ATP, WTA and ITF,” she said.
✊🏼🇺🇦 #Ukraine #Україна #StandWithUkriane pic.twitter.com/1LT4WjrYI9
— Elina Monfils (@ElinaSvitolina) February 28, 2022
Svitolina was weighing-in on two other Ukrainians, Marta Kostyuk, ranked 54th in the world, and Lesia Tsurenko, a former top-25 player now ranked 127, who both posted a letter on social media expressing “our great surprise and dissatisfaction with the lack of any response with the situation in our Motherland”. Previously, Dayana Yastremska revealed that she moved to France for ‘safety’ amid the Russia-Ukraine war crisis.
They also urged the WTA to “follow the guidance of the IOC“, which has called for a sporting ban on Russia. The war crisis has caused unrest in Ukraine and many other tennis stars included Daniil Medvedev has urged to stop the war.
Tension has risen in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military assault on neighboring Ukraine. This has caused him to receive backlash from all across the globe. Putin’s Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, claims that 137 soldiers and civilians died on Thursday. Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv has been on the end of explosions as a result of Russia’s supposed ‘peacekeeping mission’.