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Elina Svitolina: Ukraine tennis star boycotts WTA event, asks tennis bodies ATP, WTA, ITF to take firm stance | tennis news

“Ukrainian players requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of IOC to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems. I want to announce I will not play in Monterrey” – Elina Svitolina

Last Updated: 28/02/22 7:47pm


Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina has pulled out of a WTA event where she was due to face Russian Anastasia Potapova

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has withdrawn from a WTA Tour Event and urged tennis organizations ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the IOC’s recommendation to accept Russian or Belarussian nationals only as neutral athletes.

Svitolina was scheduled to play against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at a WTA Tour event in Monterrey, Mexico on Tuesday followed by one of the biggest tournaments in the United States at Indian Wells beginning March 9, but confirmed on Monday she had pulled out of the former.

The 2019 Wimbledon and US Open semi-finalist took to social media to say: “I believe the current situation requires a clear position form our organisations: ATP, WTA and ITF.

“As such, we – Ukrainian players – requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the ICO to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.

Svitolina has called on tennis' organizations ATP, WTA, ITF to take a firm stand

Svitolina has called on tennis’ organizations ATP, WTA, ITF to take a firm stand

“Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until our organizations take this necessary decision.

“I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland.

“Moreover, I wish to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”

Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev signed 'no war, please' on a camera following his win in the Dubai Tennis Championship's semi-final.

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Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev signed ‘no war, please’ on a camera following his win in the Dubai Tennis Championship’s semi-final.

Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev signed ‘no war, please’ on a camera following his win in the Dubai Tennis Championship’s semi-final.

Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev reacts to becoming world No 1 while his country is involved in conflict with Ukraine.

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Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev reacts to becoming world No 1 while his country is involved in conflict with Ukraine.

Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev reacts to becoming world No 1 while his country is involved in conflict with Ukraine.

‘This is a terrible nightmare’

Svitolina had previously said her people are living a “terrible nightmare” and has called on the sporting world to do whatever it can to help.

The world No 15 put up an emotional Instagram post after Russia attacked her homeland on Thursday stating that her heart was bleeding after looking at the events that were transpiring back home.

And speaking with Sky Sports Newsthe 27-year old, who is married to French tennis star Gael Monfils, has called on the war to be stopped.

“I’m shocked at this terrible nightmare,” said Svitolina in an exclusive interview. “I’m really praying every single minute for my family, for my friends, for all people in Ukraine and around the world for safety, for peace.

Ukrainian number one and world number 15 tennis player Svitolina previously said she is praying for her people and the situation in Ukraine is a terrible nightmare

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Ukrainian number one and world number 15 tennis player Svitolina previously said she is praying for her people and the situation in Ukraine is a terrible nightmare

Ukrainian number one and world number 15 tennis player Svitolina previously said she is praying for her people and the situation in Ukraine is a terrible nightmare

“Considering what people are going through in Ukraine and what my family are going through while being in Ukraine and friends – I try to keep in contact with them to see what’s happening there.

“I’m very safe compared to them so. To be honest with you, I’m only thinking about them and for me it’s a very stressful time because I cannot do anything. I cannot really help them. I wish I could help them “It’s extremely tough mentally for me. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I’m just praying.”

“It’s a horrible situation for the people in Ukraine, what they have to go through without sleepless nights, without food and electricity so that’s horrible. For me, it’s heartbreaking to hear this.

“The war is something we have to stop and it’s something better than anything else. What is happening is very tough for me to imagine.”

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