Victoria Azarenka Australian Open 2022

‘Devastated’ Victoria Azarenka calls for ‘peace and end to war’

Former World number one Victoria Azarenka has spoken out against the war between Russia and Ukraine saying she is ‘devastated’ by the actions in Eastern Europe.

The World number 16 posted on Twitter, ”“I am devastated by the actions that have taken place over the last several days against and in Ukraine. It’s heartbreaking to see how many innocent people have been affected and continue to be affected by such violence.”

Azarenka is one of Belarus’s most high profile athletes and as Belarus are allies and supporters of Russia, it hits close to home for the former Australian Open champion. ”Since my early childhood, I have always seen and experienced Ukrainian and Belarusian people, as well as both nations, friendly and supportive of one another.”

“It is hard to witness the violent separation that is currently taking place instead of supporting and finding compassion for each other. My heart is with everyone directly and indirectly impacted by this war that is causing such pain and suffering for so many. I hope and wish for peace and an end to the war.”

Victoria Azarenka is not the first tennis player to speak out against the war. Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina wore her countries colours as she won her opening round at the Monterrey Open in straight sets on Wednesday. After the victory she said, ” I think it’s my mission to unite our tennis community to stand with Ukraine, to help Ukraine because what we’re going through is a horrible thing for all Ukrainians. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing for my country and doing my best using my platform and using my resources to introduce that and try to invite people to support Ukraine.”

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