Russia's Anastasia Potapova denies sending political message after WTA warning

Potapova wore a Russian football club shirt in Indian Wells.

by Dzevad Mesic
Russia's Anastasia Potapova denies sending political message after WTA warning

Russian tennis player Anastasia Potapova strongly denies there was any political motivation behind her decision to wear a Russian football club shirt in Indian Wells. For her Indian Wells third-round match against Jessica Pegula, Potapova decided to come out on the court wearing a Spartak Moscow shirt.

Potapova received criticism from world No 1 Iga Swiatek and she was also formally warned by the WTA for her actions. Addressing the warning from the WTA, Potapova said she was surprised. "There was not any political intention in this shirt.

I'm just a super fan of Spartak since I was ten years old. My dad built part of the stadium for this team so it’s in our family. I'm good friends with them. I was very surprised because there was no bad intention in this," Potapova told The Daily Mail.

Potapova on Marta Kostyuk not shaking her hand

After a first-round bye in Miami, Potapova saw off Ukraine's Kostyuk 6-1 6-3 in her Miami opener. Moments after the match was over, Kostyuk just walked to her chair and there wasn't a handshake.

Addressing Kostyuk's decision not to shake her hand, Potapova said she expected that to happen. "I expected it. It's obviously her choice. I take it like, I'm here to play tennis, to forget about some other things," Potapova said.

Meanwhile, Potapova also admitted that she is definitely hoping to be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year. Last year, Russian and Belarusian players were banned from competing at Wimbledon. Even though Wimbledon hasn't made any official announcements, everything is pointing toward Russian and Belarusian players being allowed to return to The Championships in 2023.

"I'm dreaming about it because it's one of my favourite parts of the season. I can only pray for it and hope for it. If we can compete there, I will be very happy," Potapova said. Potapova, 21, has made three appearances at Wimbledon so far in her career.

Anastasia Potapova Indian Wells