Olga Savchuk: 'Russian friends' forgot me after Russia launched their attacks

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Olga Savchuk: 'Russian friends' forgot me after Russia launched their attacks

Former Ukrainian tennis star Olga Savchuk was left stunned and disappointed by the lack of reaction from "Russian and Belarusian friends" after Russia launched their attacks on Ukraine. Savchuk, who turned professional in 2004 and retired from professional tennis in 2018, thought she had created a lifelong friendship with some Russian and Belarusian players.

"We were friends. Initially, all of my now former friends, peers, only a few people wrote, they asked how the family was. There is almost nothing I can tell you really. Most of them didn't text me, which was unexpected to me.

It killed me inside, because I have known these people since I was nine years old, from the beginning of my tennis career. I thought that they were my friends, colleagues, and these people are not just silent. I can understand if they did not declare their stance on an official level.

But on a private level you didn't call, didn't text, didn't ask me how my family was doing, how am I right now. I think this is a crime on a human level. And all our tennis players have the same situations. I can't explain it, it doesn't fit in my head," Savchuk told Tribuna.

Savchuk not the only one disappointed

The biggest name in the Ukrainian tennis, Elina Svitolina, said Ukrainian tennis players are getting ignored by Russian players.

Russia launched their attacks on Ukraine on February 24, less than two weeks before the start of the Indian Wells Masters. Marta Kostyuk revealed Ukrainian players initially didn't want to speak out against Russian players because they felt they were on their side.

Ukrainian players expected Russian players to come out and show their support but instead they turned their back and completely ignored the Ukrainians in Indian Wells. This week, Wimbledon announced Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete at the tournament this year.