WTA

Tennis star Svitolina 'praying for all people in Ukraine'

By Sports Desk February 26, 2022

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina is "really praying" for her country after Russia invaded on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region.

The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv.

Several high profile sports figures have publicly expressed their opposition to war, including Russia's Andrey Rublev who wrote "no war please" on a camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championships, joining compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Svitolina - who is ranked 15th in the world - has said she is praying for peace and trying to keep in contact with her family back in Ukraine.

"I'm shocked at this terrible nightmare," Svitolina told Sky Sports News. "I'm really praying every single minute for my family, for my friends, for all people in Ukraine and around the world for safety, for peace.

"Considering what people are going through in Ukraine and what my family are going through while being in Ukraine and friends, I try to keep in contact with them to see what's happening there.

"I'm very safe compared to them. To be honest with you, I'm only thinking about them and for me, it's a very stressful time because I cannot do anything. I cannot really help them. I wish I could help them. It's extremely tough mentally for me. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I'm just praying.

"It's a horrible situation for the people in Ukraine, what they have to go through without sleepless nights, without food and electricity so that's horrible. For me, it's heartbreaking to hear this.

"The war is something we have to stop and it's something better than anything else. What is happening is very tough for me to imagine."

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