After the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, and the heart-breaking news of massive destruction of livelihoods from Ukraine began to circulate in the media, the tennis organizations ATP and WTA decided to start a fund with the name ‘Tennis Plays For Peace fund‘. People across the world were encouraged to donate for this joint initiative with the aim of helping people of Ukraine rebuild their lives and bring some amount of normalcy.
Many events were also organized during the Australian Open2023, under this initiative. Rafael Nadal, Coco Gauff, Maria Sakkari amongst others also participated in many fun activities at the Melbourne Park before the start of the first Grand Slam of the season to raise funds for this effort.
“In support of Ukraine, please consider the possibility of donating to the Tennis Plays For Peace fund. The joint initiative is aimed at supporting the Fund for Aid in Crisis Situations in Ukraine GlobalGiving, which provides immediate assistance on the ground, as well as the Tennis Federation of Ukraine,” the ATP and WTA on their social media handles declared.
However, after many months the Vice-President of Ukrainian Tennis Federation (FTU) Evgeniy Zukin has criticized the WTA as according to him, no funds came to the shores of Ukraine. This was reported by a leading news website.
“I am the CEO of the Tennis Federation of Ukraine. We have never received a single dollar from you. Please do not spread false information,” he commented.
The situation in Ukraine is difficult and is continuously deteriorating. Thousands have left their country and have to migrate to other countries to save their lives and livelihood. However, many are still present in Ukraine stuck in war zones.
In this situation, people across the world are trying to help those in Ukraine. This includes tennis professionals. Novak Djokovic is one of the few players who was amongst the first to lend help to Ukrainian people. Besides him Iga Swiatek continues to support Ukraine. She also sports a blue and yellow ribbon (national colors of Ukraine) on her cap whenever she has played during last season and also this season.
Ukrainian tennis players are particularly active on this front. Elina Svitolina through her foundation is trying to help Ukrainian people rebuild their lives. Lesia Tsurenko and Marta Kostyuk are trying to bring world’s attention towards the grim situation in their homeland. Alexandr Dolgopolov and Sergiy Stakhovsky joined Ukrainian military in the war effort.
Abhar Indorkar covers tennis stories and news for FirstSportz. He is an ardent fan of Rafael Nadal but also cheers for Daniil Medvedev. Besides tennis, his interests include football, hockey, F1, and cricket. He is also passionate about photography and art and keeps himself busy playing with colors.
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