MEXICO CITY (AP) — Elina Svitolina placed on the yellow and blue colours of Ukraine and beat Anastasia Potapova of Russia 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday within the opening spherical of the Monterrey Open, deciding she might do extra for her nation by enjoying than boycotting the match.
Prime-seeded Svitolina earlier stated she would not play in opposition to Potapova in Mexico or in opposition to any Russian or Belarusian opponents till the Worldwide Tennis Federation and the lads’s and girls’s tennis excursions barred rivals from these international locations utilizing any nationwide symbols, flags or anthems.
The tennis governing our bodies issued a press release Tuesday confirming that Russian and Belarusian gamers will nonetheless be allowed to compete on the prime degree, however with out nationwide flags.
“At this time it was a really particular match for me,” the 27-year-old Svitolina stated. “I’m in a really unhappy temper, however I’m comfortable that I´m enjoying tennis right here.
“I used to be centered. I used to be on a mission for my nation,” she stated. “From the start, it was essential to be prepared for something that comes my means.”
Svitolina is a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist with 16 profession tour-level singles titles who has been ranked as excessive as No. 3 and is at the moment No. 15.
“All of the prize cash that I´m going to earn goes to be for the Ukrainian military,” stated Svitolina, who received this event in 2020. The Monterrey Open has $31,000 in prize cash for the champion.
Svitolina, who broke serve within the first and third video games on the best way to a lopsided win over Potapova in 64 minutes, will play in opposition to Viktoriya Tomova within the second spherical.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its sixth day on Tuesday, with an enormous convoy of Russian tanks and armored autos on a highway to the capital, Kyiv, and combating intensifying there and in different massive cities.
Russia shelled a number of key websites in Kyiv and within the nation’s second-largest metropolis, Kharkiv, killing not less than 11 individuals and wounding dozens of others, Ukrainian officers stated.
In her social media put up Monday, Svitolina stated her goal in demanding tennis comply with the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s lead and demand that gamers from Russia and Belarus are solely recognized as “impartial athletes” was not in opposition to particular person rivals.
“I don’t blame any of the Russian athletes,” Svitolina wrote. “They don’t seem to be chargeable for the invasion of our motherland.”
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