Latvia has abandoned the decision to stop funding Latvian athletes who compete in the same events as Russian and Belarusian athletes. The decision has been a very controversial topic that Jelena Ostapenko commented on during the BNP Paribas Open, even though the amount of money in her case was negligible.
Anda Caksa, the Minister of Education and Science, announced that there will be no withholding of benefits to the Latvian athletes and that they will be receiving the full amount of funding. In case of Ostapenko, the 2017 Roland Garros champion who has earned over $12 million in her tennis career, it is debatable why she would even be receiving approx. 1,700 euros monthly from her country’s budget. Regardless, the withholding was a bizarre decision that needed to be reconsidered.
After defeating Belarusian world No.44 Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Ostapenko told Women’s Tennis Blog:
“Honestly there is really nothing to do because I’m not organizing tournaments. The WTA is the one who is organizing tournaments and I don’t have any opportunities to play in any other tournaments.” The most successful WTA player from Latvia added: “It means if I don’t play any other tournaments, I have to quit tennis. But I’m not gonna do that because I’m a tennis player and this is my sport. I mean, unfortunately, it’s like that.” (source: SportaCentrs, photo: Jimmie48)