The oldest tennis player in the world lives in Kharkov. Now he hopes to live to hundreds

“I wish I could live to be hundreds of years. I had to survive this terrible situation,” Stanislavsky told Reuters. A few days ago, his biggest dream was to play with Swiss tennis giant Roger Federer. Now he only wants one thing – to survive and survive hundreds.

Since February 24, when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, it has basically not left home. He supposedly had sufficient supplies so far. “I’m sitting at home and I’m not going anywhere,” said Stanislavsky. His daughter, who lives in Poland, is said to have persuaded him to go see him.

“I decided to stay here. I can’t hear very well, so I sleep at night, I don’t hear anything,” he said, referring in particular to the night bombings and sirens announcing the anti-aircraft alarm.

Stanislavsky survived World War II, when as an engineer he participated in the development of Soviet military aircraft in the fight against the Nazis. It never occurred to him that he would have to experience the horrors of war again. “There can be no wars in the 21st century, wars must end,” he said.

He started playing tennis at the age of 30, training for over 60 years three times a week. He claims he didn’t reach the top level until the 1990s as a veteran tournament participant. “I’m not afraid of anyone … I hope the war ends and I can play tennis again,” said Stanislavsky.

Camilla Salazar

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