Shamil Tarpischev, CEO of the Russian Tennis Federation, wanted to respond to the WTA and Iga Swiatek to defend Anastasia Potapova, after what happened at the BNP Paribas Open. He told: “Anastasia Potapova didn’t wear a flag or a crest, but a soccer team jersey.
I’ve never heard anyone say that a player can’t wear a team’s shirt
.” Tarpischev made some unkind statements again last year, when Elena Rybakina won Wimbledon. The president of the Russian tennis federation did not hesitate to reiterate: “It’s great!
Well done, Elena! We won the Wimbledon tournament. Rybakina is a product of Russian tennis.” The reference to the birthplace of the Kazakh naturalized player was clear. The Moscow-born Rybakina only started representing Kazakhstan in 2018.
The Kazakh Tennis Federation has always tried to bring talent that Russia doesn’t judge to its side.
The controversy over the gesture made by Anastasia Potapova in Indian Wells does not subside.
The 21-year-old from Saratov wore the shirt of the Spartak Moscow soccer team before facing Jessica Pegula on Indian Wells Center Court. A behavior that triggered the harsh reaction of Lesia Tsurenko and judged unacceptable by the WTA.
In addition to Tsurenko, world number one Iga Swiatek also spoke on the matter. The Pole has always expressed her solidarity with the Ukrainian people and explained: “I am very surprised to see Russian girls wearing the shirts of their country’s soccer teams, for example.
I don’t think it’s good for anyone to show that kind of feeling no matter how much of a fan of that team they are, and I hope they realized that. I spoke to WTA officials about it and they told me these situations won’t happen again, which relieved me enough.”
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