Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky is the latest athlete to take up arms to defend his country.
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Ukraine tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky has stated he hopes to not have to use a gun after enlisting to help protect his country from Invasion of Russia.
Stakhovsky, who reached a career-high 31 in 2010, is the latest athlete to defend his country after third-place champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was photographed with a weapon – and second-place champion world heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk is also rumored to have signed up.
Pictures above Instagram – from an unverified one Ukraine Boxing Federation account – claims to show a 35-year-old man holding a weapon. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been ordered to stay in the country and fight as the Ukrainian government seeks to slow down Russian attacks.
Stakhovsky told BBC Radio 4’s Today Show: “I know how to handle a gun. If I have to, I will. ”
The 36-year-old, who beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, retired from tennis after his recent Australian Open win over Rafael Nadal and has since returned to help his country.
“I very much hope that I won’t have to use a gun,” added Stakhovsky, who revealed his ‘terrible’ decision to leave his wife and children at home.
“I’m still not sure how I did it.
“I know that it was extremely difficult for my wife. My kids don’t know that I’m here. They don’t understand war. They were too young to understand what was going on. “
Notably, Lomachenko and Usyk are the latest in a long line of boxers taking up arms to defend Ukraine after Russia of the invasion, which began last Thursday. Heavyweight legend Vitali Klitschko is the current Mayor of Kyiv, and he reveals he will serve Ukraine during the war.
Wladimir’s 50-year-old brother has also signed up as a reserve force for the territorial force to defend the city of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The Klitschko brothers are both calling on the world to help and support Ukraine in its ongoing conflict.
Sports organizations are also continuing to impose sanctions on Russia where possible, with Russian football clubs and national teams being suspended by FIFA and UEFA for the foreseeable future.
Russia’s men’s team will not play in next month’s World Cup playoffs and the women’s team has been banned from Euro 2022 this summer, while Spartak Moscow has been knocked out of the Europa League.
UEFA also ended its sponsorship with Russian energy giant Gazprom.
The International Olympic Committee has urged sports governing bodies to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus.
After Ukrainian world No. 15 Elina Svitolina said she would refuse to compete with Russian or Belarusian players until they were classified as ‘neutral athletes’, the Tennis Federation of Ukraine issued a statement. calls on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to expel Russia and Belarus from the organization and ban Russia from participating in individual and team tournaments.
Stakhovsky believes these moves will make a difference for the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He really loves sports and loves Russia who is successful in sports. He loves that he can show that success in the world in the Olympics and all other sporting events,” Stakhovsky added.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/sergiy-stakhovsky-russia-ukraine-war-26357635 Tennis star who once defeated Roger Federer 'hopes he won't have to use a gun' in Russia-Ukraine war