Elina Svitolina: Ukrainian to play Russian opponent Anastasia Potapova after stance over flag

Elina Svitolina
World number 15 Elina Svitolina is the top seed at the Monterrey Open

Elina Svitolina’s match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at the Monterrey Open on Tuesday will go ahead after the Ukrainian top seed was given assurances her opponent will compete under a neutral flag.

The WTA has not made an announcement.

However, Svitolina, 27, told ITV News: “There’s been a lot of discussion.”

The world number 15 added: “Today they will release a statement that they will remove the flags. So we are waiting just for the final confirmation about that. I will be playing tonight because my opponent is going to be under a neutral flag.”

Svitolina will wear Ukrainian colours for the match in Mexico, and she said she feels like “I have my country on my shoulders”.

She added: “In the tennis community, more should have been done. Today is already six days that serious and horrible things are happening in Ukraine.

“That’s why I decided to make a move because I didn’t feel enough support from our tennis community. As Ukrainians, we couldn’t sit silent anymore in feeling so much pain.

“For sure it’s not going to be [just] another WTA match.”

Potapova, 20, also responded to the situation on Instagram on Monday, saying: “Unfortunately, now we, professional athletes, are becoming hostages of the current situation.

“I’m sorry, but even though I am a stranger to politics, I am against grief, tears and war.”

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