Russian tennis star Anastasia Potapova has responded to Elina Svitolina who said she would not play her at the Monterrey Open.
The Monterrey Open is a professional women’s tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. The event is affiliated with the Women’s Tennis Association and is part of the 250 series on the WTA Tour.
Ellena Svitolina, who is the tournament’s top seed, had released a statement on Monday saying she would not take part in the game unless her opponent drops all affiliations with Russia.
In response to it, Potapova said playing tennis has always been part of her childhood dreams and politics should not interfere in it.
“As a rule, even in childhood, we choose our own path of development. Even when I was a kid, I dreamed of playing tennis without choosing a match, a country or a partner in the game. It is difficult to explain to people from politics that for me there is no opposition from any country, I am fighting for victory, my best game, for my result.
“Unfortunately, now we, professional athletes, are essentially becoming hostages of the current situation. Playing tennis is our choice and our dream, to which we go daily, practising, and constantly trying to be better in our results.
“I’m sorry, but even though I am a stranger to politics, I am against grief, tears and war. Peace unites the world, and everyone should remain human in it. And children should continue to dream,” Postapova said.
The Ukrainian star, Svitolina made it known that she doesn’t hold anything against her Russian opponent but demanded that the likes of the Women’s Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation take action on the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Posting on Instagram she wrote: “Dear all, I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organisations: 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 Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems
“Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organisations take this necessary decision.
“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 Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”
The Women Tennis Association is yet to respond to Svitolina’s request and it remains uncertain what will happen to Potapova in the tournament should the Ukrainian withdraws.