Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina is “shocked” at situation in her homeland; Daniil Medvedev, who will become the new world No 1 on Monday, wants to “promote peace all over the world”; fellow Russian Andrey Rublev wrote “no war, please” on a TV camera
Last Updated: 26/02/22 8:45am
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Ukrainian Number 1 and World Number 15 tennis player Elina Svitolina has said that she is praying for her people and the situation in Ukraine is a terrible nightmare.
Ukraine tennis star Elina Svitolina says her people are living a “terrible nightmare” and has called on the sporting world to do whatever it can to help.
The world No 15 put up an emotional Instagram post after Russia attacked her homeland on Thursday stating that her heart was bleeding after looking at the events that were transpiring back home.
And speaking with Sky Sports News, the 27-year old, who is married to French tennis star Gael Monfils, has called on the war to be stopped.
“I’m shocked at this terrible nightmare,” said Svitolina in an exclusive interview. “I’m really praying every single minute for my family, for my friends, for all people in Ukraine and around the world for safety, for peace.
“Considering what people are going through in Ukraine and what my family are going through while being in Ukraine and friends – I try to keep in contact with them to see what’s happening there.
“I’m very safe compared to them so. To be honest with you, I’m only thinking about them and for me it’s a very stressful time because I cannot do anything. I cannot really help them. I wish I could help them. It’s extremely tough mentally for me. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I’m just praying.
“It’s a horrible situation for the people in Ukraine, what they have to go through without sleepless nights, without food and electricity so that’s horrible. For me, it’s heartbreaking to hear this.
“The war is something we have to stop and it’s something better than anything else. What is happening is very tough for me to imagine.”
Stakhovsky: I signed up for reserves last week
I have never been more proud of my fellow countrymen!! Ukrainian military personnel !!! Be strong !! Many more are coming home to help you !!
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) February 26, 2022
Former Ukrainian tennis player, Sergiy Stakhovsky, who famously defeated Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, has said he is willing to fight for his country despite not having any military experience.
“The army opened up the reserves and everybody who is willing to fight, to come in and collect the weapons and be part of the territorial resistance. There’s plenty of people in them and I’ve actually signed up for the reserves last week but I just didn’t have the documents to sign the contract.
“Now they’ve cancelled the procedure so everybody who is motivated can join. I don’t have military experience but I do have gun experience, privately.
“I don’t see why the reason why the majority of my countryman have to risk their lives to send their families away while they stay back.”
Medvedev: No war, please
Daniil Medvedev says he wants to “promote peace all over the world” while his Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev delivered a similar message following the military invasion of Ukraine.
Rublev wrote “no war, please” on a TV camera after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz to reach the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
Medvedev, speaking after his quarter-final victory over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the Mexican Open, had said he was “all for peace”.
The 26-year-old, who will overtake Novak Djokovic as World No 1 on Monday, said: “By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world.
“We play in so many different countries. I’ve been in so many different countries as a junior and as a pro. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m all for peace.”
Medvedev’s compatriot Rublev paired up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov to win a doubles title in Marseille last week and Medvedev supported the partnership.
“This was amazing because I think people need to stay together and that’s the most important [thing],” Medvedev said. “In this moment, you understand that tennis sometimes is not that important.”
Speaking on Thursday, Rublev said he had received bad comments online because of the situation in Ukraine.
“In these moments you realise that my match is not important. It’s not about my match, how it affects me. What’s happening is much more terrible,” Rublev said.
“You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. We should take care of our earth and of each other. This is the most important thing.”