WTA formally warns Russia's Anastasia Potapova after controversy in Indian Wells
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 32408
The WTA has formally warned Anastasia Potapova after the world No 28 wore a Russian football club Spartak Moscow shirt in Indian Wells, per James Gray of British newspaper i. For her Indian Wells third-round match against Jessica Pegula, Potapova decided to come out wearing a Spartak Moscow shirt.
Potapova's decision drew ire as many thought that she was sending a provocative political message. But Potapova defended herself by insisting that she's just a Spartak Moscow fan and nothing more than that. According to Gray, the WTA made it clear to Potapova that her actions were "neither acceptable or appropriate."
NEW: Anastasia Potapova has been formally warned by the WTA after walking out at Indian Wells wearing a Spartak Moscow football shirt.
Doing so was deemed neither "acceptable or appropriate" and it is not expected to happen again.#TennisParadise — James Gray (@jamesgraysport) March 15, 2023
Iga Swiatek called out Potapova's move
Swiatek, the top-ranked player on the WTA Tour, wasn't a fan of what Potapova decided to do in Indian Wells.
When asked about the Potapova situation, Swiatek underlined that even she was a fan of Spartak Moscow, she should not have gone out to the court wearing a Russian football jersey considering the situation in the world. "I was surprised as I thought she realised that she should not, even if she is a fan of the team, show her views at such times.
I talked to the WTA and I found out that these situations will probably be less, as they will explain to players that it is not allowed to promote any Russian teams now, which reassured me a little bit. On the other hand, I think the message should have been sent much earlier," Swiatek said.
Last year, Wimbledon defended their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players by saying they didn't want to risk a situation where a Russian or Belarusian player decided to send a provocative political message. After what happened in Indian Wells, some are wondering if this will have any impact on the Wimbledon decision regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at The Championships this year.