Sergei Stakhovsky retired from tennis after the Australian Open in January, and is now in Kyiv preparing for the fight in Ukraine. He said he knows how to use a gun
Image: Getty Images)
The Ukrainian tennis star left his wife and children to fight Russia Talk about life on the front lines today.
Sergei Stakhovsky, 36, best known for his loss to Roger Federer on Wimbledon’s center court in 2013, has joined his country’s reserve force.
Boxers Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk also signed up to fight for their country.
Sergei retired from tennis after Australian Open in January and now find themselves in Kyiv preparing for war.
“It was horrible to leave my wife and children behind,” he said. “My kids don’t understand war. They think I’m in a tournament.”
According to Latest updates from Ukraine in our live blog
It was ‘extremely difficult’ for his wife Anfisa. There will be no military training but he told BBC : “I know how to use a gun.
“If I have to, I’ll have to.” He admitted the level of fear had increased as he crossed the border into Ukraine and he knows ‘there’s no turning back’.
“But then you see the people and the level of cooperation,” he said.
“They’re knocking down obstacles for the Russians, they’re working non-stop to defeat fear. I guess that’s the best way to do it.”
Hundreds of tennis players have sent messages of support, praising his bravery.
AFP via Getty Images)
He supported a worldwide sporting ban on Russia, adding: “When a Ukrainian walks onto the field to play a Russian, he sees the flag of a country where each Russian army is fighting. fly while killing civilians and shelling civilian cities.
“I think it’s unthinkable.” His father and brother, both surgeons, were ‘sleeping in the basement’.
The defending heavyweight champion Usyk, who beat England Anthony Joshua in September, left his London base for Ukraine.
The men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been asked by the Ukrainian government to stay and fight to slow down the Russian attacks.
His Tyson Fury was quick to commend Oleksandr Usyk for signing up.
Speaking at a press conference before the fight against Dillian WhyteFury said: “I would be on the front lines if Britain or the US were involved.
“So did my dad and all the boys (the Fury brothers). Love your woman and protect your country.”
Fury became world champion for the first time in 2015 after defeating Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, who was also said to have registered.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/ukrainian-tennis-star-says-leaving-26361882 Ukrainian tennis star says it's 'terrible' to leave his family behind as he joins the fight