A tour act will not allow a Ukrainian tennis player to play Russian.


Elina Svitolina (top-seeded) is a professional tennis player from Ukraine aged 27. She has decided to withdraw from the Monterrey Open in favor of playing against a Russian opponent. If tennis’s governing bodies do not follow the International Olympic Committee and insist that players representing Russia and Belarus be considered “neutral athletes,”

Svitolina posted Monday on Twitter, that she didn’t want to play Anastasia Potapova in her first-round match. The WTA women’s tour, ATP male’s tour and International Tennis Federation all “follow the IOC’s recommendations” and ban competitors from using national flags, colors or anthems.

The fifth day of the Russian military attack on Ukraine was underway.

Svitolina wrote, “I don’t blame any Russian athletes.” They are not responsible for our invasion of motherland.”

Svitolina, a Grand Slam semifinalist twice, has 16 career-level singles titles and has been ranked as high at No. 3, and is currently No. 15.

Another Ukrainian tennis player, Lesia Tsurenko (32 years old), posted on Twitter that she, along with others, “would like express our great surprise, dissatisfaction at the lack of any reaction to the situation with Motherland.”

Tsurenko, who was a quarterfinalist in the 2018 U.S. Open and has been ranked as high at No. 23 and is currently No. 127, this week, urged the WTA immediately to condemn the Russian government.

According to the ITF, it had cancelled its events on Russian soil indefinitely and would not schedule any events in Belarus this year. A scheduled event for Ukraine in April was also postponed by the ITF due to “heightened security concerns.”

“This is an ever-changing situation. We continue to monitor events and are in active discussions with the ITF Tennis family, the ITF Board, and security experts to determine and align our next course. In a Monday statement, the ITF stated that it stands united with the Ukrainian population. “Right now our priority is the safety of everyone who participates in our events. We will, of course, provide more information as soon and as we can.