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(Reuters) – World primary Iga Swiatek has known as for extra assist to be provided to Ukrainian gamers on the ladies’s tour after Lesia Tsurenko stated she withdrew from her match in opposition to Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka at Indian Wells because of a panic assault.
Tsurenko stated the assault was triggered by a chat she had with WTA Chief Govt Steve Simon about tennis’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarus has been a key staging floor for what Moscow calls a “particular navy operation”.
Poland’s Swiatek, who wears a Ukrainian flag on her cap throughout matches, has beforehand condemned Russia’s invasion and stated the motion taken by the tennis management had not been sufficient.
“I completely perceive why she withdrew, as a result of truthfully I respect Ukrainian women a lot. If a bomb landed in my nation or if my dwelling was destroyed, I do not know if I may deal with that and compete,” Swiatek stated.
“It’s important to actually mentally be there to compete each week. So I get that she wasn’t prepared to do this.
“I really feel extra must be accomplished to assist Ukrainian gamers as a result of every little thing we talk about in tennis is about Belarusian and Russian gamers, if they need to be allowed, what is going on on with them.
“I do not assume that is proper, as a result of we should always focus extra on serving to Ukrainian gamers and offering them every little thing they want as a result of they mainly need to deal with all their households, and there is a whole lot of baggage on their shoulders.”
Swiatek had additionally criticised Anastasia Potapova after she sparked outrage by carrying a T-shirt of Russian soccer workforce Spartak Moscow earlier than her match in opposition to Jessica Pegula.
Swiatek stated such conditions may have simply been averted.
“In the beginning we did not have correct management to information us by way of all of that,” Swiatek stated. “There’s a whole lot of pressure within the locker room that clearly goes to be there as a result of there is a warfare.
“However perhaps it must be somewhat bit much less if WTA put some motion at the start to clarify to everyone what’s proper and what’s not.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Modifying by Peter Rutherford)