Russian-born Daria Saville said she can't really go back to Russia after publicly throwing support behind Ukraine but added she still has a good relationship with top-ranked Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina. Saville, who was born in Moscow, has been representing Australia since 2015.
Saville competed under her maiden name (Gavrilova) until marriage to fellow tennis player Luke Saville. “[It’s a] grey area because I have way too many friends in Russia,” Saville said, per Tennis365. “[Daria] Kasatkina [is] one of my best friends.
I want her to play, but they also understand the decision too. I still treat everyone the same. I don’t change how I treat people and … nothing has changed for me”.
Saville supports Ukraine
In recent weeks, there has been many talks regarding the Wimbledon decision to impose player bans on Russian and Belarusian players.
However, Saville thinks there are way more important thing in life than someone's Wimbledon participation. “I can’t really go back to Russia now," Saville added. “I definitely do support Ukrainian players.
Imagine not having a home. There are worse things happening [than] not playing Wimbledon”. The ATP and WTA have removed rankings points from 2022 Wimbledon. Some players have publicly suggested that Wimbledon without points resembles an exhibition event.
However, Saville doesn't agree with that. “It’s tough. I think Wimbledon is still going to be Wimbledon,” she said. “Some people say it’s an exhibition. I don’t think it’s ever going to be an exhibition.
Whoever wins Wimbledon is still going to be a Wimbledon champion. It’s a ‘bit tricky’ with points. For someone like me, I have to make a decision whether it’s worth it to play qualifying, or maybe I play [elsewhere] the week before.
Of course the majority of people would have preferred to play with points, and I kind of feel bad for Ukrainian girls and guys because you read the Russian news."