Elina Svitolina mentioned she was ‘on a mission for my nation’ after donning the yellow and blue colors of her homeland, Ukraine, to beat Russia’s Anastasia Potapova of Russia 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday within the opening spherical of the Monterrey Open.
High-seeded Svitolina earlier mentioned she wouldn’t play in opposition to Potapova in Mexico or in opposition to any Russian or Belarusian opponents till the Worldwide Tennis Federation and the lads’s and ladies’s tennis excursions barred rivals from these nations utilizing any nationwide symbols, flags or anthems.
The tennis governing our bodies issued an announcement Tuesday confirming that Russian and Belarusian gamers will nonetheless be allowed to compete on the high stage, however with out nationwide flags.
‘Right now it was a really particular match for me,’ the 27-year-old Svitolina mentioned. ‘I’m in a really unhappy temper, however I’m completely happy that I´m enjoying tennis right here.
‘I used to be centered. I used to be on a mission for my nation,’ she mentioned. ‘From the start, it was essential to be prepared for something that comes my method.’
Svitolina is a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist with 16 profession tour-level singles titles who has been ranked as excessive as No. 3 and is at the moment No. 15.
The 27-year-old revealed that she determined she might make extra of an affect by enjoying tennis than boycotting the occasion.
‘All of the prize cash that I´m going to earn goes to be for the Ukrainian military,’ mentioned Svitolina, who received this match in 2020. The Monterrey Open has $31,000 in prize cash for the champion.
Svitolina, who broke serve within the first and third video games on the way in which to a lopsided win over Potapova in 64 minutes, will play in opposition to Viktoriya Tomova within the second spherical.
Elina Svitolina earned a straight units win over Anastasia Potapova within the first spherical in Mexico
The No 1 seed wore blue and yellow – the colors of her nation – for her sport on Tuesday evening
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its sixth day on Tuesday, with an enormous convoy of Russian tanks and armored autos on a highway to the capital, Kyiv, and preventing intensifying there and in different huge cities.
Russia shelled a number of key websites in Kyiv and within the nation’s second-largest metropolis, Kharkiv, killing a minimum of 11 individuals and wounding dozens of others, Ukrainian officers mentioned.
In her social media publish Monday, Svitolina mentioned her goal in demanding tennis observe the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s lead and demand that gamers from Russia and Belarus are solely recognized as ‘impartial athletes’ was not in opposition to particular person rivals.
‘I don’t blame any of the Russian athletes,’ Svitolina wrote. ‘They don’t seem to be answerable for the invasion of our motherland.’
Svitolina took on Russia’s Anastasia Potapova (above) who performed beneath a impartial flag
The 27-year-old mentioned she was ‘on a mission for my nation’ throughout her match on Tuesday evening