Tennis: “panic attack”, “hysteria”… Comments about the war in Ukraine alarmed Lesia Tsurenko, she withdrew from Belarus


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As a new consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory, the player could not find the funds to meet Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka during the Indian Wells tournament in the United States.

“The reason I quit was a panic attack. Officially, it’s for personal reasons, but in reality I had a hard time breathing. We can talk about hysteria.”

These words are full of emotions and delivered to the Ukrainian website great tennis, signed by Lesia Tsurenko. The 33-year-old Ukrainian, ranked 95th in the world, withdrew from Indian Wells on Monday, March 14. The idea of ​​facing Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus was terrifying.

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The reason: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “A few days ago I spoke with WTA CEO Steve Simon, detailed Lesia Tsurenko. “I was shocked by what I heard. “He told me that he was against the war, but if the Russian or Belarusian players supported it, that was their personal opinion and I shouldn’t be bothered by the opinions of others.”

The WTA CEO’s comments came as a shock to the player and some of his colleagues, who were surprised that Steve Simon could make such comments in a position as high as his.

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The WTA emphasized the fact that “athletes should be able to participate in professional tournaments based on their merit and without any discrimination, without being penalized by the decisions made by the leaders of their countries.”


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