German tennis player Eva Lys made a shocking claim as she says some Russian players laughed about the Ukraine war and made fun of it at an ITF event in Kazakhstan. Lys, a German player of Ukrainian descent, competed at an ITF event in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, this week.
Lys kept in touch with her relatives from Ukraine and described to Eurosport Deutcshland how the people of Ukraine are "living a terrible nightmare." "I want to get one thing straight: it's awful and I'm not going to sugarcoat it.
It's terrible. For example, I have a picture of a friend of my mother's sleeping in the subway with her little daughter. When we talk on the phone, the bombs can be heard through the phone. Humans are helpless in the face of attacks, but they are incredibly brave.
My grandmother and grandfather have now left Ukraine and arrived in Poland after a three-day journey. The other men from the family stayed in Kyiv to help," Lys told Eurosport Deutschland.
Lys: Some Russian players make fun of what is happening in Ukraine
"Many Russian players who are here show disrespect to those affected by the Ukraine war.
They laugh about it, make fun of it, some demonstratively put on tracksuits in the Russian national colors. It is all the more important that we spread widely what is really happening there," Lys claimed. Also, Lys praised the governing bodies of tennis for stepping up and sanctioning the tennis federations of Russia and Belarus.
"First of all, I think it's very good that the tennis associations ITF, WTA and ATP acted quickly - and rightly so. Tennis pros don't embody a country in the same way that national teams do. So I think it's right to ban Russian teams to send a crystal clear message.
And I think it's good that flags or the reference to Russia are removed in tennis, but the individual professionals are allowed to play," Lys added.