WTA responds to Lesia Tsurenko claiming chat with WTA CEO gave her panic attack

Tsurenko made some stunning comments against WTA CEO Steve Simon.

by Dzevad Mesic
WTA responds to Lesia Tsurenko claiming chat with WTA CEO gave her panic attack

The WTA says they "strongly condemn the actions of the Russian government in Ukraine" after Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko claimed she suffered a panic attack after talking with WTA CEO Steve Simon. On Sunday, Tsurenko pulled out of her Indian Wells third-round match against Belarusia's Aryna Sabalenka.

On Monday, Ukrainian media BTU reported that Tsurenko pulled out because she suffered a panic attack which was apparently triggered by her conversation with WTA CEO Simon. In an interview with BTU, Tsurenko claimed that Simon told her that if there are indeed Russian and Belarusian players supporting their governments, that's just their personal opinion and she should not be offended by that.

Tsurenko called those comments "shocking" and claimed that gave her a panic attack before the Sabalenka match.

The WTA responds to the Tsurenko comments

"First and foremost, we acknowledge the emotions Lesia and all of our Ukrainian athletes have and continue to manage during this very difficult period of time.

We are witnessing an ongoing horrific war that continues to bring unforeseen circumstances with far reaching consequences that are affecting the world, as well as the global WTA Tour and its members. The WTA has consistently reflected our full support for Ukraine and strongly condemn the actions that have been brought forth by the Russian Government.

With this, a fundamental principle of the WTA remains, which is ensuring that individual athletes may participate in professional tennis events base on merit and without any form of discrimination, and not penalized due to the decisions made by the leadership of their country," the WTA said in their statement to The Tennis Podcast.

Last year, some Ukrainian players demanded the ATP and WTA to allow Russian and Belarusian players only to compete after publicly condemning the actions of their governments.

But the ATP and WTA refused to go that route as Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to continue competing as neutrals.

Lesia Tsurenko Steve Simon