Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina says the feel among Ukrainian tennis players is that they are being completely ignored by Russian colleagues. Before the war started, Ukrainians used to have a good and fair relationship with Russian players.
According to Svitolina and some other Ukrainian tennis players, Russians do not even greet Ukrainian players anymore. Svitolina's fellow compatriot Marta Kostyuk said Ukrainian players expected to receive support from Russian players in indian Wells but instead they got completely ignored.
"Now it looks like the Russian tennis players try to avoid us, so we won't meet each other or have a conversation. And words of support were expressed by only a few support who asked about my family or if everyone was alive.
It's still a mistery to me how it is possible that you can't show humanity. Although we see each other every week, our communication has gone to zero - even with those who used to say 'Hello,'" Svitolina told Tribuna.
Elina Svitolina: "Privately words of support were expressed by only a few Russian players who asked about my family. It’s still a mystery to me how it is possible that you can’t show humanity" ⬇️ (via Tribuna) pic.twitter.com/wokz3izJrZ — Tennis_BTU_ENG (@Tennis_BTU_ENG) April 21, 2022
Svitolina wants Russian, Belarusian players to make their position clear
This week, Svitolina and several other Ukrainian tennis players shared a lengthy message on the social media.
In their message, Ukrainian players demanded the ATP and WTA to force Russian and Belarusian players to make their position regarding the war clear before they're allowed to continue competing. "When there is a genocide of the Ukrainians, and these players represent their countries, we need to know if they support such actions.
According to the statistics, 80 percent of Russians - maybe even more - support such actions of their country. If this is true, why should they be among us, among our peers?" Svitolina added. "It is important for us that there are no actual murderers of our country among us.
I want everything to be done to the maximum. But knowing the WTA, they constantly find excuses. Therefore, we will fight to the end, we are ready for this."
The scenes in Ukraine have taken a big toll on Svitolina, who took a break after Miami.
Elina Svitolina: "According to statistics 80% of Russians – maybe even more – support such actions of their state.
It is important for us that there are no actual murders of our country among us on Tour. I want everything to be done to the maximum" ⬇️ (via Tribuna) pic.twitter.com/Y0iLkZC6mB — Tennis_BTU_ENG (@Tennis_BTU_ENG) April 21, 2022