Alexander Dolgopolov, a former Ukrainian tennis player who won three ATP titles with a record of 221 wins and 201 losses, joined the Ukrainian militia to take up arms in the war against Russia in which kyiv has become one of the most dangerous areas.
“Until now I can’t say what it feels like to be shot. Maybe they’ll kill me. Maybe I have to kill. What can I say? This is war.” Dolgopolov said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
The Ukrainian tennis player stated that he was in Turkey when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began and that after leaving his mother and sister in the country due to the danger of bombing. Dolgopolov has been critical of the tennis federation and also Roland Garros for not opposing the ban on Russian competitors.
“I know the Russian players have said ‘No to war’, but it’s not a strong enough position for me at the moment. If the tennis world wants them to keep playing, they should publicly condemn their government for committing wrong actions.”
The former Ukrainian tennis player reported on his social networks that he was practicing shooting with a soldier in Turkey and that he can even hit targets at 25 meters every 3 out of 5 times, And keep practicing to get better.
“This is my house and I will defend it with all those who stayed. My respects to all the famous people who stayed. I am proud of how the country stood together under pressure from a crazy dictator. I will be in kyiv until our victory and after it, ”said the Ukrainian in his networks.
The Ukrainian has criticized that athletes and governments have not taken a stronger position against the genocide in Ukraine and that it is not enough to just say “no to war”.
“It is turning into a genocide of an entire nation. Because of this, you cannot say: ‘I am against the war’. We are all against war. Of course, we are against war. This is said everywhere in the world, every time, but once it gets to a magnitude like this, you have to take a stronger position and condemn what the Russian government and military are doing.”
For the former athlete, one of the ways to stop Vladimir Putin is for the Russian people to rise up against him and thus end the war, but he also affirms that it is something very difficult.
In fact, the Russians think that the war in Ukraine will not affect them. This is crazy. Their brains are washed with propaganda. If you take a stronger position in sports, with your rich people, with the oligarchs, all Russians should see that something is wrong,” he stated.
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