Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Russian tennis star Pavlyuchenkova in 'fear' after criticising Ukraine invasion

by · Metro

Russian No.1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova says her decision to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing her ‘fear’ but hopes more athletes follow her actions.

Sports teams and stars all across the world have not been afraid to voice their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week on the orders of president Vladimir Putin.

Russian tennis player Pavluchenkova recently took to Instagram to call for the violence to stop in Ukraine and despite not being an expert on politics she believes people have to speak out to help put an end to the war.

‘It’s causing me fear, I’m confused… I can only speak out,’ she told CNN.

For the latest updates on the Russia-Ukraine war, visit our live blog: Russia-Ukraine live

‘I can only hope for more athletes to speak out on this matter.

‘I’m not a politician, just a woman who plays tennis professionally. I just try to speak out, try to make my point. I don’t want violence…We just want peace and love and stop the war.

‘I have a fear for the future.

‘We need to think about our children as well. I want a future for the children.

‘I don’t want to be selfish and talk about my career, it’s not about sport and tennis right now. It’s about our future and our lives.’

The 30-year-old took to Twitter last week to show her support for Ukraine, while fellow Russians in the men’s game including world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have also spoken out.

Pavlyuchenkova posted: ‘I’ve been playing tennis since I was a kid, I have represented Russia all my life, this is my home and my country – but now I am in complete fear, as are my friends and family.

‘But I am not afraid to clearly state my position, I am against war and violence, personal ambitions or political motives cannot justify violence, this takes away the future not only from us but also from our children – I am confused and do not know how to help in this situation.

‘I’m just an athlete who plays tennis, I am not a politician, not a public figure, I have no experience in this, I can only publicly disagree with these decisions taken and openly talk about it – stop the violence, stop the war.’

On Tuesday night, a joint statement by the international governing bodies of tennis confirmed Russia and Belarus would be banned from team competitions such as the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup.

Players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete in international tennis events as individuals. However, they will not compete under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice.

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