Elina Svitolina is a nobody, says Russian tennis chief

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev criticised Elina Svitolina and called her a nobody

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev called Elina Svitolina a nobody

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev called Ukranian star Elina Svitolina a ‘nobody’ and criticised her for asking Russian and Belarusian players to speak up against the invasion.

Svitolina has been one of the most vocal players against Russia bringing war to Ukraine.

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After Wimbledon decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the Championships this year, Svitolina called on her peers to denounce the war publicly.

The former world No 3 insisted that “we don’t want them banned completely” but added “if players don’t speak out then it is the right thing to ban them”.

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Tarpischev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation, hit back at her.

“No need to pay attention, this is not only my opinion, but also of lawyers,” the 74-year-old told Metaratings.ru recently.

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“If we make any statement we can be removed from some competitions.

“Now we are playing, everything is fine with us. It’s stupid to react at all. Who is Svitolina? A nobody.”

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The Russian tennis chief, meanwhile, welcomed the support of ATP stars like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who believe the Wimbledon ban is unfair.

“Support from the [tennis] top players is always needed,” he said.

“Players and the [Russian] federation are grateful to all of the players who have already come out in defence of our athletes who were not allowed to compete (at Wimbledon).

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“In my opinion, all the top players should support us and thus defend the competitive principle in the tennis world.”