War continues to wreak havoc on women’s tennis: “There’s a lot of tension between us”


Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka admits there is “a lot of tension” between tennis players over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and defends the WTA is doing the best it can to deal with this situation.

Sabalenka, who qualified for the Indian Wells final on Friday, was asked at the press conference about the relationship between Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian tennis players and whether the WTA has done a good job in this regard.

The departure of the Ukrainian tennis player was also mentioned in the same question Lesia Tsurenko, who did not jump on the track against Sabalenka in the third round and later claimed to have suffered a panic attack.

“Nobody can control other people’s emotions. I think the WTA is doing everything it can to control it,” she said.

“Yes, of course there is a lot of tension between us. I mean, I still have this belief that I didn’t do anything bad to the Ukrainians. Neither I, nor the Russian athletes, nor the Belarusian athletes, none of us did anything wrong. Some of us even help. Not in public, that is.”

The Belarusian said that he also went through unpleasant situations relative to this voltage in the circuit.

On the other hand, Sabalenka indicated that, in addition to the panic attack and the “political situation” in Ukraine, Tsurenko’s decision may be related to her coach.

“I think there is something else. I had a really tough situation with his coach and the way he acted with me. So I think that man is putting too much pressure on him.“, he thought.

“It has nothing to do with the WTA. I mean, they are doing the best they can. What can they do? None of us have control over this situation. We all try to keep the locker room as calm as possible and understand that it’s not our fault and we all understand the Ukrainians and feel really bad for them.. That’s it. I think I have talked about a lot,” he said.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has slipped into talks in Indian Wells these days, where several tennis players spoke about the war and its consequences before the microphones of the media.

For example, Tsurenko explained about her withdrawal, on the Big Tennis of Ukraine portal, that she had a panic attack after speaking with WTA President and CEO Steve Simon.

I was very surprised by what I heard from him. He told me he did not support the war but that if players from Russia and Belarus do it, that is only their own opinion and other people’s opinions should not bother me,” explained the tennis player.

In an interview with the BBC on Friday, Simon reiterated that the WTA’s “unity” is “at the highest level” with all Ukrainians.

“We keep talking (with Russian and Belarusian players) to make sure they understand the sensitivities here and compete as neutrals,” he said.

“What is happening in Ukraine deserves condemnation. You cannot support it in any way, not what the Russian government is doing,” he said.

A very audible voice on the circuit is that of Polish Iga Swiatek, world number one and public supporter of Tsurenko.

“I completely understand why she retired because I honestly respect the women of Ukraine and because if a bomb fell in my country and my house was destroyed I don’t know if I would be able to handle that and play and compete in the WTA, ” he said Tuesday..

Swiatek, who urged the tennis world to support Ukrainian tennis players, also argued that athletes have a “responsibility to set a good example” and bluntly criticized Russian Anastasia Potapova, who at Indian Wells was wore a Spartak Moscow football jersey before. one of their fights.

The WTA, in a statement collected on Thursday by media such as CNN, assured that it “formally advised the player that this is not an acceptable or appropriate action.”

Also in the men’s competition, the war was discussed by Russian Daniil Medvedev, the fittest player so far with 18 consecutive match wins and three consecutive tournament wins (Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai).

“Yes, the question is difficult to answer. First of all, I’m definitely sorry for all the Ukrainian players and what they’re going through,” he said Wednesday.

“Regarding the ‘top’ players, of course we have a responsibility and it depends on what each person or individual does here. I have always said the same thing: I am in favor of peace throughout the world and, to be honest , that’s all I can say,” he added.

Source: La Verdad


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