Alexandr Dolgopolov accuses WTA CEO of 'intimidating Ukrainian women'

Dolgopolov strongly reacts to the Lesia Tsurenko story.

by Dzevad Mesic
Alexandr Dolgopolov accuses WTA CEO of 'intimidating Ukrainian women'

Former Ukrainian tennis player Alexandr Dolgopolov is accusing WTA CEO Steve Simon of "intimidating Ukrainian women." On Monday, Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko told Ukrainian media BTU: "He (Simon) told me that he himself does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus support it, then this is only their own opinion, and the opinion of other people should not upset me." Tsurenko, who was scheduled to play Belarusia's Aryna Sabalenka in the Indian Wells third round, also said she had to withdraw from the match because Simon's comments triggered her a panic attack.

Dolgopolov is urging Simon "to be a man" and now make his comments public. "Steve, instead of intimidating Ukrainian women, be a man and take this to the public. Conversation happened with you on duty, people deserve to know, it’s OK, to support genocide," Dolgopolov tweeted.

Dolgopolov not buying Simon's statement after the Tsurenko comments

The Tsurenko story quickly went viral and the WTA responded by issuing a statement a couple of hours later.

"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.

But the statement didn't change much in how Dolgopolov was looking at the situation.

Alexandr Dolgopolov Lesia Tsurenko