World No.15 Elina Svitolina is safe, away from her war-torn home country, but she feels with her people and pledges to donate prize money from her upcoming tennis tournaments to support army and humanitarian needs.
Even though top-ranked Ukrainian WTA player Svitolina was lucky to be far away from her motherland when the conflicts erupted, the tennis star is deeply affected by the situation and pledges to donate potentially substantial amounts of money to help defend Ukraine.
Signing the emotional message as “a proud Ukrainian”, the 27-year-old Svitolina wrote:
My people, every day I fear for you. I am devastated, my eyes won’t stop crying, my heart won’t stop bleeding. But I am so proud. See our people, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sisters, our children, they are so brave and strong, fighting to defend You. They are heroes.
As a response to Svitolina’s message, Russian-born Australian Daria Saville and France’s Alize Cornet will wear yellow and blue as a way to show support for Ukraine. They are inviting their fellow WTA players to join them.
While Svitolina was lucky to be far away from Ukraine when the Russian invasion started, world No.120 Dayana Yastremska found herself in the country’s southern city of Odessa. After spending two nights in an underground parking, witnessing bombs and devastation, Dayana and her sister Ivanna managed to escape, taking a boat to Romania and then flying to Lyon, France. Even though she has just escaped the war zone, Dayana will play the Lyon Open that starts on Monday.