‘I won’t play,’ Elina Svitolina refuses to compete against Russian players following Ukraine invasion, likely to miss her first-round match at the Monterrey Open

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Elina Svitolina takes a firm stand and decides not to compete against Russian tennis players on tour.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has taken a firm stand against Russians after the invasion of her ‘motherland’ by Russian troops. The world is currently standing with Ukraine after Vladimir Putin declared war on the country. Prominent Ukrainian personalities have voiced their concerns over the matter and have also urged everyone to stand with Ukraine.

Svitolina, who is one of Ukraine’s top athletes, has actively raised her voice through social media for the last few days. And now, she has decided to boycott Russian and Belarussian players until the tennis bodies- ATP, WTA, and ITF clear their stand on the public platform.

“I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations: ATP, WTA, and ITF. As such, we – Ukrainian players – requested to ATP, WTA, and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarussian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colors, flags, or anthems,” Svitolina said in a statement.

Svitolina likely to withdraw from the Monterrey Open

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina

Svitolina is currently scheduled to play the Monterrey Open this week where she is the top seed. She is drawn to play Russian Anastasia Potapova in the first round but will most likely miss the match given her stand. In the statement, she further added that not only tomorrow, but she also will not compete against any Russian or Belarussian tennis players until organizations take necessary decisions.

“Accordingly, I want to announce I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until our organizations take this necessary decision,” she said.

She clarified that she isn’t blaming any Russian athletes as they aren’t responsible for the invasion. She also paid tribute to fellow Russians who stood against the government and said that their support is essential.

“I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland. Moreover, I wish to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarussians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential,” she concluded.

Also read: “Stop the violence, stop the war” Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RETALIATES against Russia, making a bold statement

Lakshya Chopra is an aspiring sports writer and enthusiast who covers tennis for FirstSportz. He is currently pursuing his B.Tech (Computer) degree from VIIT, Pune. He is the most passionate guy in the room when it comes to Sports. He is hugely inspired by Rafael Nadal.