On Monday morning Polish time, the final 1/16 of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells will take place between Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine and Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus. The former, however, called off the match, citing a panic attack he had suffered after hearing the words of WTA Director Steve Simon.
Sabalenka, who is the co-leader of the WTA rankings and number two after Iga Świątek, is the clear favorite in the match against Curenka, who is in 95th place. Ukraine, however, had no intention of fighting for sensation in court, and political issues dictated its decision regarding the loss. Of course, we are talking about Russian-Belarusian aggression against Ukraine.
Unlike most sports, in Russia and Belarus tennis is permitted to compete in international tournaments. The previous exception was last year’s Wimbledon, but it is likely this year that players from both countries will also be able to compete there. The only sanction for representatives of both countries is to play under a neutral flag.
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This caused a lot of controversy. The tennis community is divided into supporters and opponents of such a decision. Of course, tennis players from Ukraine demanded the suspension of Russia and Belarus, but opinions differed, among others. Steve Simon. It was after the words of the director of WTA Tsurenko had a panic attack and decided to give up the match with Sabalenka.
What did Simon say? According to the Ukrainian player, the director of the world women’s tennis federation expressed … support for Russia and Belarus in the framework of their participation in next year’s Olympics in Paris, as well as in the WTA and ATP tournaments.
– I was shocked by the words. He said that I shouldn’t be nervous about it, that it would maintain fair game rules. I had panic attacks and hysteria. I’m having a hard time breathing. I can’t play with Sabalenka. I hope to calm down before the next tournament – said the 33-year-old Ukrainian.
Ukrainian media reported that the player’s “personal problems” were officially cited as the reason for canceling the match.
Sabalenka in the 1/8 finals of the tournament in Indian Wells will play with the Czech Barbora Krejcikowa.
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