Illustration photo – Ukrainian tennis player Lesja Curenková.
Indian Wells (USA) – Ukrainian tennis player Lesya Curenko ended the tournament in Indian Wells early due to an anxiety attack. The 33-year-old player, who qualified for the main competition, withdrew before the 3rd round match against the second-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenkova officially for personal reasons. But today she announced that she suffered a panic attack after a conversation with WTA boss Steve Simon.
“The reason for my resignation was a panic attack. Officially it will be stated as 'personal reasons', but the truth is that I had difficulty breathing and, let's say, a hysterical attack,” Curenkova told Ukrainian media, according to Reuters.
< p>Curenko said that the conversation with Simon about the attitude of the tennis world to the Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked her. “He told me that he personally does not support the war, but if Russian and Belarusian tennis players support it, it is only their personal opinion and I should not take other people's opinions that way,” said Curenková.
Simon at the same time, according to the tennis player expressed his belief that Russian and Belarusian players will not be absent at the Olympic Games either. “When I asked him if he was aware of what he was saying during the active phase of Russian military aggression in my homeland, he replied that he did and that it was his opinion,” she added.
WTA in response to Reuters reiterated its condemnation of the Russian invasion. “However, the basic principle of the WTA remains that tennis players as individuals can participate in professional competitions based on their performances and without any form of discrimination and are not punished because of government decisions in their countries,” the WTA said in a statement.
The interview Curenková already led Simon before the second round match with Croatian Donna Vekičová, whom she defeated in three sets. However, according to her words, she could no longer continue in the tournament. “I really hope that I can digest all this information and prepare better for the next tournament,” she added.