Despite being appreciative of Wimbledon‘s stand against Russia, Elina Svitolina believes the WTA and ITF could have done more to back Ukrainian players.
The WTA, ATP, and ITF all issued statements at the beginning of March saying that they did not support Russia’s actions in Ukraine but still allowed Russian players to compete in international events.
Since then, Russian athletes have competed without representing Russia or flying the Russian flag, to the dismay of their Ukrainian counterparts. Svitolina explained to The Telegraph that the Ukrainian tennis community had approached the WTA, the ATP, and the Grand Slams about receiving assistance, but that those organizations had instead decided to pursue their own agendas.
Though I was disappointed to learn of their stance, I hold them in the highest regard and am grateful to Wimbledon and Ukraine for helping the players feel appreciated despite it.
Few Russians made contact, Svitolina said.
At first, the Ukrainian players didn’t want to speak out against their Russian counterparts after Russia invaded Ukraine. The conflict began when they arrived in Indian Wells but were met with little help from their Russian counterparts.
“Many tennis players didn’t even come to us to see how our family was doing; they chose instead to live and train primarily outside of Russia.
A sense of unease resulted from this, “When asked about it, Svitolina provided some background. Svitolina announced her retirement from tennis after Miami. Svitolina and her husband Gal Monfils announced their pregnancy in May.
Svitolina is currently trying to balance her pregnancy with doing what she can for Ukraine in these difficult times. “We have lost our homes, our training bases, and our families are in danger as a result of what is happening to our Ukrainian people right now.
My current goal is to help people see that sports have a huge impact because of the media attention they receive “The statement was made by Svitolina.