With Ukraine in midst of a war with neighboring country Russia, numerous sporting personalities have come forward to express solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Tennis fraternity has been quite vocal about the inhumane act by Russia and has strongly condemned their actions. In retaliation to the invasion, tennis governing bodies have suspended the tennis federations of both Russia and Belarus but decided against a blanket ban on players from these countries.
While their homeland might be the instigator of the war, Russian tennis players are not holding back in their criticism of their own country and have outrightly expressed their support for Ukraine. Maria Sharapova is the latest player to come out in support of Ukraine. The Russian expressed her despair over recent events which have affected the lives of innocent civilians and have forced families to seek refuge in other countries.
Sharapova took to Instagram to state her desire to donate to families and children who’ve been affected by the war. She also appealed to others to join in on the noble deed and pleaded for peace between the two countries.
“With each day that goes by, I am more and more heartbroken and deeply saddened by the images and stories of families and children affected by this escalating crisis in Ukraine. I am donating to Save the Children’s crisis relief fund, an organization working tirelessly to provide food, water, and aid kits to support those in need. Please join me in making a donation. I pray for PEACE and send my love and support to all those affected,” she posted.
Tennis players do their part to help Ukraine
Despite being under emotional turmoil because of the harrowing situations in their homeland, the Ukrainian players have vowed to compete at tournaments and contribute to their country in their own way. Recently, Elina Svitolina pledged to donate all her prize money earned to military aid and relief operation. Fellow Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska soon followed suit and stated she would donate her prize money earnings from her runner-up finish at the Lyon Open to aid humanitarian relief efforts in her country.
Players from other nations have also weighed in their support for Ukraine. Andy Murray pledged to donate the prize money he will earn from tournaments for the rest of the year. Amanda Anisimova also pitched in by donating a part of the prize money she earned during the Eisenhower Cup.
“We are here and enjoying but it’s very hard to just live normally. I’ll definitely be donating some of my prize money to the Ukrainian relief fund,” Anisimova said shortly after she won the Eisenhower cup.