Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has offered solidarity with Ukraine but also added that Russian athletes shouldn't be the one receiving criticism for something they have no control over. The leading Russian players - Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - have all called for peace in the world.
Russian players are allowed to compete in international allowed but they don't compete under the name or flag of Russia - they are simply recognized as neutrals. "I don't think we should judge them, just because they are from the same country," Halep said, per Sportskeeda.
"It's hard for me to say anything. More will probably be decided in the next period, but they are not to blame. I feel sorry for the emotions they have right now. It's not easy to have your flag taken away from your name."
Halep terrified for the people of Ukraine
"Dramatic! It's something I never imagined would happen," Halep remarked. "Poor people - those who are concerned - it is very difficult. I hope it ends as soon as possible and there are no more victims."
Halep trained for a week at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy before heading to the United States. "A special experience. I felt good and it was a week full of training," Halep said. Halep, who fired two coaches after the Australian Open, will be joined by Morgan Bourbon at the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.
Bourbon works as a coach at the Mouratoglou Academy. "Of course you can play without a coach, but in order to have maximum performance, from my point of view, you need someone by your side who can trust you and help you in difficult times," Halep said.
"I think coaching is important in a team. Yes, it's a temporary thing. I will have a coach from the 'Patrick Mouratoglou' Academy in Indian Wells and Miami with me, and then we'll see."