Indian Wells: Ukrainian Kostyuk demands tougher penalties against Russia and Belarus – tears after the opening win

For the teenager, the tennis associations WTA (women) and ATP (men) as well as the world association ITF lagged behind the reactions of the football associations FIFA and UEFA after Russia invaded Ukraine.

In tennis, Russia and Belarus are only excluded from the Davis Cup (men) and the Billie Jean King Cup (women). Professionals from both countries, on the other hand, are allowed to continue to compete in tournaments including the four Grand Slams with the blessing of the ATP and WTA. Only the naming of their home country and the presentation of their national flag is forbidden.

Kostjuk said after her first-round win over Ukraine-born Maryna Zanevska of Belgium, “Seeing Russians in a tournament hurts me”. In addition, they only talked about “how they can still transfer money. That’s not acceptable to me.” After the match, Kostjuk and Zanevska shared a long and intimate hug.

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In view of the war, Kostjuk also lamented the lack of distance between Russian players and their country’s government. “You can’t be neutral in this matter. These ‘no war’ demands also hurt me because they have no real substance,” explained Kostyuk.

The new world number one, Daniil Medvedev, said after the war began that “tennis is sometimes not that important”, but he did not criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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