Sports and politics should not be interconnected, but the reality is that politics shape all aspects of our lives. Professional athletes are way too often affected by happenings in the world that seemingly have nothing to do with them. Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, let’s try to explain what we expect to happen to tennis and athletes coming from the region.
We haven’t even fully overcome the pandemic and a new crisis is already torturing the world…
Dayana Yastremska was in her home town of Odessa when the war started and the southern city has been invaded. The tennis player spent two days in an underground garage, before managing to leave Ukraine together with her sister.
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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina posted on Instagram:
My heart is bleeding… Another sleepless and terrifying night for Ukrainian people.. PLEASE HELP US TO STOP THE WAR.
Lesia Tsurenko is urging people to support her country:
I would like to ask the entire tennis community to speak out against the war on their social media! I ask everyone to support Ukraine in this difficult time. It’s just unacceptable that people in my country die because of political ambitions of Russian dictator!
General mobilization is in force in Ukraine and the country has banned all male citizens ages 18-60 from leaving the country. This means that Ukrainian ATP players will have to put their careers on the side for some time.
When it comes to tennis tours, we can expect all tournaments scheduled to take place in the countries affected by war to be replaced by events in other locations. Changes to the calendar are nothing new, as we got especially used to them during the coronavirus pandemic. The WTA has released an updated calendar for the next nine weeks of 2022.
As a result of its military invasion, Russia is facing sanctions from countries around the world. This can be a big problem for Russian tennis players, in terms of their financial proceedings and travel. Players from Belarus are in similar position.
Tell us in the comments how you think this conflict will affect tennis tournaments and players.