‘More Tension Than Before’ – Ukrainian Star Elina Svitolina Openly Condemns US Open’s Decision to Allow Russian and Belarusian Players

Published 06/19/2022, 12:56 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 21, 2022 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts during her third round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka REUTERS/Morgan Sette

It is a fact that the Ukraine-Russia conflict has seeped down deep into the sports realm. This had divided tennis into two factions, one supporting the Ukrainians like Elina Svitolina and the other one who does not want politics to be a part of the sport.

The US Open’s decision to allow the Russian and Belarusian players to play for the major has drawn the attention of many players. Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina opened up on this move by the US Open.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Elina Svitolina on the US Open’s decision to let Russian and Belarusian players play

Elina Svitolina talked about the decision of the US Open to let the Belarusian and Russian players play. She commented on the situation of the sport and why it is not in a good shape. Moreover, she said, “Our sports is thrown back by 10 years minimum. Because all the infrastructure has been damaged or completely destroyed.”

Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

Furthermore, she said, “So, yeah, I can tell you many, many facts that can play a role in the decision of not letting Belarusians and Russians play. It is their decision to make, and we can not do anything about it.” The Ukrainian player accepted the decision, as she could not do much about it. However, she made sure to express her discontent clearly with the decision.

 

Moreover, she talked about the lack of support from the Belarusian and Russian players. She said, “It was surprising to not get much support from Russian and Belarusian players. Because before we were like normal and right now there is more tension than before. And for us it is not understandable why we did not get support from them. That’s what created the tension between us.”

How has the conflict divided the sport?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The tension between the Ukraine-Russia has affected tennis as well. Wimbledon has banned the Belarusian and Russian players from playing at the grass-court major.

Though US Open has allowed the players to play, it would be under the condition that they play under neutral flags. The Australian Open and the French Open had similar stances, too.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Others In The Greatest Comebacks in Tennis

The conflict has divided the unity that the sport promoted. All in all, we wish for the resolution of the matter and to restore the fraternity of the sport.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Shivali Sharma

244 articles

Shivali Sharma is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. She has pursued her Master's in history from Himachal University, but her love for the game has driven her to write about tennis. Shivali is a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires Osaka not only for her on-court performances, but also for her off-court actions.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT