Alexandr Dolgopolov reveals 'worst day' on battlefield

Dolgopolov has been fighting for Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

by Dzevad Mesic
Alexandr Dolgopolov reveals 'worst day' on battlefield
© Getty Images Sport - Lintao Zhang

Former Ukrainian tennis star Alexandr Dolgopolov described life on the battlefield as "tough" as he is constantly in life danger and also witnessing people getting injured or dying. Dolgopolov, a 2011 Australian Open quarterfinalist, has been fighting for Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. "It has been tough on the battlefield in the last year.

When they are firing and getting really close, you know they know approximately where you are. When the round exits, you hear that and then you have the few seconds where it is flying - it is like loud whistles coming in - and then you feel the impact.

You hope the impact is not exactly on the top of the trench. If it is one or more metres from you, you should be fine because you're half or one metre under the ground. if it doesn't hit the ceiling, you should be OK, but you don't know that," Dolgopolov told BBC Radio 4.

Dolgopolov on his worst day, hearing about people dying

After spending some time as a drone operator in the Zaporizhzhia region, Dolgopolov is currently back in Kyiv. But Dolgopolov's task is far from finished as the former Ukrainian tennis star is waiting for his next assignment.

"Mostly artillery fire and aircrafts, that's the main danger. The worst day was when mortars landed reasonably close to us. Usually it is random fire and if they see you, they shoot two, three, five times and then forget about it unless they see what they're aiming for.

You try to hide and protect yourself. This time it got really intense and we got maybe 20 rounds fired at us. They were all close," Dolgopolov said. Although not many people from Dolgopolov's unit have lost their lives, it is still far from good as the 35-year-old is regularly hearing about victims from other units.

"We haven't had too many close people dead but many have been injured. We hear a lot about other guys from other units, and friends of friends, dying. The longer it goes, the more people are dead," Dolgopolov said.

Alexandr Dolgopolov