Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina agrees to match against Russian rival

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina has agreed to play Russian rival Anastasia Potapova at Monterrey Open

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Ukraine's Elina Svitolina has agreed to go ahead with the match against Russian rival Anastasia Potapova

Elina Svitolina has withdrawn her boycott against Russian rival Anastasia Potapova and agreed to continue with her participation in the Monterrey Open.

World no 15 Svitolina had announced that she would not play against Anastasia Potapova following Russia’s invasion of her native Ukraine.

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But according to a report in BTU.ua, the organisers have agreed to a set of conditions for top seed Svitolina to continue in the tournament.

“We Ukrainian players requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colors, flags or anthems,” Svitolina said in a statement on Instagram.

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“Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until our organizations take this necessary decision.

“I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland.

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“Moreover, I wish to pay tribute to all the players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”

Svitolina said she has been suffering sleepless nights since the Russian invasion. Her parents are taking refuge in the southern Ukranian city of Odessa.

Anastasia Potapova

Potapova also took to social media to take a strong stand.

“Even when I was a kid, I dreamed of playing tennis without choosing a match, a country or a partner in the game,” the Russian player wrote.

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“For me there is no opponent from any country, I am fighting for victory, my best game, my best result…Unfortunately, now we, professional athletes, are essentially becoming hostages to the current situation…I am against grief, tears and war.”

The BTU report suggested that the match between Svitolina and Potapova will take place on Tuesday under revised conditions.

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Even though tennis tournaments across Russia have been cancelled, tennis’ governing bodies have not made their stance clear over the Ukraine issue.

The International Olympic Commitee has urged sporting bodies to ban all athletes from Russia and Belarus from competition due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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