Lesia Tsurenko rips WTA over 'lack of response' to situation in Ukraine

Tsurenko believes the WTA could have and should have done more to support Ukrainian players.

by Dzevad Mesic
Lesia Tsurenko rips WTA over 'lack of response' to situation in Ukraine
© Getty Images Sport - Fred Lee

Lesia Tsurenko feels some are silently attempting to "hush up" Ukrainian players talking about the war. Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian players have been doing their best to put emphasis on what's happening in their home country.

Also when the invasion started nearly two years ago, Ukrainian players called on the WTA to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in all ATP, WTA and ITF tournaments. The ATP and WTA decided against going that routine but since then Russian and Belarusian players have been recognized as "neutrals" in all tournaments.

Addressing that, Tsurenko called out the WTA and their neutral athlete policy.

Tsurenko calls out the WTA: We feel not being heard

"The war is still here and this means that this issue is not closed. Our country did not choose this fate.

And we also did not choose this fate, that we have been in a state of constant arguing with the WTA and representatives of the aggressor countries for one and a half years. Indeed, starting from Roland Garros, people stopped asking me about the war.

And at Wimbledon I simply did not have a single press conference. Yes, there is a feeling that tennis is trying to hush up this topic as much as possible. This is purely my personal impression. As for me, I can say that I am making every effort to continue the fight, to clarify all the issues we have.

There are also some things going on, but due to the confidentiality policy, we cannot disclose details. I can assure everybody that we are fighting. They will not be able to put the war out of the picture. Regarding the flags, online promotion and social media pages...

All of it has been discussed more than once. And, unfortunately, in most cases, we feel not being heard. This is very weird to me. Especially when it comes to flags. Because there have been plenty of examples, which clearly prove that they just can't get rid of them completely, because they were flags at the tournaments, at the draw ceremonies...

What can I say? It's the WTA. That explains everything. In fact, it would be good if they clarified the specifics of this status for these so-called neutral athletes, what exactly this status means... Let's say, to start with...

which is already impossible, because the start was long ago, but anyway, at least now, yes, it would be nice to clarify the regulation (the requirements) of the so-called neutral status," Tsurenko told Ukrainian Tennis BTU.

Lesia Tsurenko