Elina Svitolina comments on Sergiy Stakhovsky's decision to join Ukrainian army

The past month has been extremely tough for Svitolina.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elina Svitolina comments on Sergiy Stakhovsky's decision to join Ukrainian army

Former world No. 3 Elina Svitolina called Sergiy Stakhovsky "a brave man" and praised every Ukrainian who decided to fight the Russian invasion. After ensuring his family and three kids safely got to Hungary, Stakhovsky returned to Ukraine to defend his country.

Stakhovsky admitted his wife was against him returning to Ukraine but he felt defending his country was the right to do. “He’s such a brave man,” Svitolina told the WTA Tour website. “All these people who came back to Ukraine to defend our homeland, they are heroes.

I mean, it’s unbelievable. “For my part, I try to do everything possible from my side with tennis. Helping the Ukrainian people is in my mind at all times”.

Svitolina afraid for her family

Svitolina's parents got to a safe place somewhere in Europe but her uncle, aunt and grandmother from her mother's side were not so lucky.

“Before, Odesa was safer than Kyiv or eastern Ukraine,” Svitolina said. “I spoke to my grandmother, who lives by the sea. She said they were launching rockets from ships, right into the city. “They are very scared.

For the past few days, I’ve been really worried for their safety”. The past month has been extremely tough for Svitolina as she has admitted that it's to focus when when her thoughts are constantly with the people of Ukraine.

On Thursday, Svitolina was beaten by Heather Watson in three sets in her Miami Masters opener. “It was quite tough to focus,” she said. “Very tough, mentally, to go on the court. I know I tried to be brave and face the challenges.

I would say that I’m not 100 percent. And talking to the other Ukrainian players in Indian Wells and Miami, they have been struggling, too. We are telling each other, yeah, we are here and then sometimes we are not here.

“With everything that’s happening in Ukraine, it’s just very, very sad. Every hour we are seeing the news everywhere. You see it, and for my homeland it’s very painful”.

Elina Svitolina Sergiy Stakhovsky