Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk admitted the war at home was at the top of her mind before she entered the court for her Indian Wells Masters first round match. Kostyuk, ranked at No. 54 in the world, claimed a 6-7 (5) 7-6 (6) 7-5 win over Belgium's Maryna Zanevska.
Zanevska was born in Ukraine but she has been playing under the Belgium flag since 2016. "Honestly, in the current mental state that I'm in, it was very tough to go on court. I didn't know what to expect from myself, I didn't know what to expect from my body.
When I woke up this morning I thought, 'I'm not going to do it, I can't win it,'" Kostyuk said. "I just tried to find a way. She was playing amazing tennis. My main goal was to fight and I fought. It was a tough comeback.
... Everyone is fighting how they fight. My job is playing tennis and this is the biggest way I can help in the current situation."
Kostyuk slams Russian players
“What is very disappointing is that no Russian player came to see me," Kostyuk claimed.
“None have told me they're sorry for what their country is doing to mine. One player messaged me, another chatted with me, but I didn't hear any apologies, I didn't hear anyone telling me they didn't support what was going on.
“To me, that's shocking. You don't have to be involved in politics to behave like a human being. Everyone knows what's going on. It hurts me. “It hurts me every time I arrive at the stadium and see all these Russian players.
Their only problem right now is not being able to make money transfers. That's what they're talking about! This is unacceptable in my opinion. Why do Russian players behave like this? I have no explanation, I have no idea.
"Again, you don't need to be involved in politics to know what's going on, who's invaded who, who's bombing who... It's very simple. “You can't be neutral in this situation. For me, 'No war' can mean several things."