Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk targeted the Russians and Medvedev got the worst of it

Without mincing words. Marta Kostyuk is a 19-year-old Ukrainian tennis player who plays the WTA1000 in Indian Wells and this Thursday she debuted with a win against Maryna Zanevska.

However, the result went into the background when after the game he took advantage of the microphones and the world’s attention to make a strong disclaimer against the measures that were adopted in the world of tennis against Russian and Belarusian players.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory began, the world of sports has become one of the focuses of sanctions against Russia, its national teams and athletes: thus, for example, its soccer team was prohibited from playing in the World Cup Qualifiers Qatar, various national teams were suspended from international competitions, the Formula 1 Grand Prix was cancelled, among many sanctions. However, Kostyuk was very critical regarding how weak, in his opinion, were the tennis organizations with respect to the Russians.

Marta Kostyuk made a strong statement after her debut in Indian Wells. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images/AFP

“I do not agree with the measures that were taken…”, began his speech who was born in Kiev; and he continued to raise the critical tone with a “look at the other sports, look at the great sports what they did; that tennis should have done.”

In addition, he pointed directly to the No. 1 in the world, the Russian Daniil MedvedevAlthough he called for peace, he did not directly condemn the invasion. “Those ‘no war’ statements hurt me because they have no substance; You can’t be neutral on this.”sentenced.

“I have never felt as close to my country and the Ukrainian people as I do now. We are a great family; we are a strong people that is capable of recovering from everything. But seeing the Russian players in this place hurts me a lot. And seeing them with the only problem of not being able to transfer money and so on… That’s what they talk about and it’s unacceptable to me,” Kostyuk concluded.

As for his feelings prior to the debut match, he said: “Honestly, in the state of mind I’m in, it was very hard to go out on the court. I didn’t know what to expect from me. When I got up I thought: ‘I’m not going to do it, I can’t win’”; but he added: “My job is to play tennis and this is the biggest way I can help in the current situation.”

“I have days of many emotions that are difficult to control; my family is there so I am suffering a lot. In the first days of the war all my loved ones were in the same house. If something had happened I would have lost my whole family in one fell swoop.; I don’t even want to think about it. I spent days when I woke up and only thought about whether the people I love would still live. With the passing of time you get used to this state of tension, but what all the Ukrainians on the circuit feel is inexplicable. You can go crazy if you don’t try to disconnect a little, ”she warned.

“I felt guilty for traveling the world and playing tennis, but I realized that this is not healthy and that everyone has their role. This is my profession and I must help my country through tennis. I would love to go as a volunteer to help and fight, but I think I am much more useful by making our cause visible and raising money, “he said.

After the match with Zanevska, both players shared a long hug. In this regard, Kostyuk commented: “Maryna’s parents are in Ukraine. In a quieter area but everyone is afraid in my country. I told him that he had played amazing and that everything will be fine. Our parents will be fine.” Zanevska was born in the Ukraine although she became a Belgian citizen, although her parents continue to live in her country.

Both the WTA and the ATP as well as the International Tennis Federation took action sanctioning the Russian Tennis Federation. Thus, for example, the tournaments of both circuits that were to be held in Moscow in October were suspended.

Russian teams were also banned from participating in the Davis and Billie Jean King Cups, although their players can continue to compete on the circuit as long as they do not use the flag or other national symbols in tournaments.


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