Tennis: Ex-Ukraine star Dolgopolov urges ATP to ‘show courage’ and ban Russians

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PARIS (AFP) – Retired Ukraine tennis star Alexandr Dolgopolov on Monday (March 21) blasted tennis bosses for “lacking courage” of their failure to take a stand and ban Russian gamers from tournaments.

“I’ve told the ATP – tennis has a very cowardly attitude today,” the 33-year-old, who has returned dwelling to defend his native metropolis Kyiv from the Russian invasion, instructed French radio RTL.

“They (organisers) lack courage, above all they don’t want to assume the eventual consequences,” he continued.

“Frankly, it’s not enough to say ‘We’re against the war’.”

Dolgopolov received three ATP titles in his profession, climbing to a career-high rating of 13 in 2012. His taking part in profession led to May 2021 after a recurring wrist damage.

But tournaments and Grand Slams are removed from his thoughts now as he learns how to use arms to defend his nation.

“Seriously worrying about Roland-Garros today is a joke. It’s not (more) important than the lives of thousands of people,” he mentioned.

“I feel the world of tennis make selections which lack braveness. Russia have to be banned from every part that’s organised by the free world.

“Because to say: ‘I am against war’, is inadequate. Their athletes should condemn their authorities, recognise that these are mass murders.

“If they take a impartial stance… it’s like they’re saying, ‘Leave me, I live my life in my corner, I don’t need to be concerned, I simply need to play tennis’.

“This place just isn’t tenable at the moment, sorry.

“Every Russian person must pay the price for this aggression.”

Meanwhile Dolgopolov mentioned he regretted not studying how to deal with weapons earlier.

“I had tried shooting once in my life. Clearly it’s not my thing, but now I regret it,” he confessed.

“Now I know how to shoot. Of course, I’m not a sniper, but I can shoot someone, for sure.”

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