Ukraine-born tennis prospect accuses Russian players of ‘laughing about’ the ongoing war
Ukraine-born tennis player Eva Lys revealed that her Russian counterparts “laugh about and make fun of” the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and “show disrespect” to those affected.
Tennis prospect Lys was born in Kyiv, Ukraine but was moved to Germany at the age of one by her Ukrainian father. She has recently been competing in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) developmental tournament in Kazakhstan.
Whilst she overcame Russian teenager Ksenia Zaytseva in her opening fixture, she shared that Russians competing at the event have “shown disrespect towards those affected by the war.”
Such contempt for such a devastating situation has been committed in the form of jokes, but they have also demonstratively worn tracksuits in Russian colours in spite of the recent Russian and Belarussian flag ban and requirement to compete under neutral insignia.
On the opposing side, World number 15 Elina Svitolina announced she will donate all prize money she earns to the Ukraine war effort.
Whilst Dayana Yastremska, who was forced to flee from Ukraine after spending two nights in an underground car park, has flown the Ukrainian flag high as she has reached the semi-finals of the Lyon Open.
In an interview with Eurosport, 20-year-old German prospect Lys said “many Russian players who are here (ITF Kazakhstan 02A event) show disrespect to those affected by the Ukraine war
“They laugh about it, make fun of it. Some are demonstratively putting on tracksuits in the Russian national colours.”
Similarly, she told German newspaper Bild that she feels extremely unsupported whenever she walked onto the court, saying “there were no verbal reactions to my outfit, but you could feel the looks. The air is very thick.”
However, she agrees with the decision taken to let Russian and Belarusian players compete under a neutral banner.
She believes “tennis professionals don’t embody a country in the same way that national teams do.
“So I think it’s right to ban Russian teams to send a crystal clear message. And I think it’s good that you take out flags or the reference to Russia in tennis, but let the individual professionals play.”
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