Anastasia Potapova: WTA officially warned the Russian tennis player for wearing the Moscow jersey


The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has “officially issued a warning” to Russian tennis player Anastasia Potapova after she was seen wearing a Spartak Moscow jersey ahead of a match against American Jessica Pegula in Indian Wells, a spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.

World #1 Iga Sviontek criticized the WTA for allowing Potapova to wear the jersey, saying on Tuesday that “more needs to be done to help Ukrainian players because everything we discuss in tennis is about Belarusian and Russian players.”

Potopova has been pictured wearing the shirt several times, including in Dubai in a photo she posted on her Instagram account.

When asked about the T-shirt after the match, Potapova said that she had been a fan of Spartak since the age of 13 and did not see it as a provocation, Reuters news agency reported.

In an email to CNN, WTA spokesperson Amy Binder said: “Regarding the Russia national football team jersey, the WTA has officially warned the player that this is unacceptable and inappropriate.

“We don’t expect this to happen again in the future.”

CNN has asked the WTA for further clarification as to what the official warning entailed and has also contacted Potapova’s agent for comment.

Ukrainian tennis player Lesya Tsurenko was scheduled to play Belarusian Arina Sobolenko at Indian Wells in California but never appeared in court on Monday, with Reuters reporting that Tsurenko withdrew due to personal reasons.

Asked about Tsurenko at her post-match press conference on Tuesday, the 21-year-old Polish star Swiatek said: if a bomb hit the country or if my house was destroyed, I don’t know if I can handle it.”

On Wednesday, when asked about Świątek’s comments, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev said he felt sorry for Ukrainian players playing at a time when war was raging in their home country.

Medvedev said that the players

The US Open 2021 winner added: “Of course, the Tsurenko situation, I don’t know the details. This is more for her and maybe a little (for) Sobolenko to answer, because I, in fact, did not know about it until the next day.

“Of course we have a responsibility (to talk about the problem) and it depends on how each individual deals with it.

“I’ve always said the same thing, I’m for world peace and that’s all I can say.”

As of March 12, at least 8,231 civilians have been killed and 13,734 injured in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24 last year, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

OHCHR stated that it believes the actual numbers are “significantly higher as information from some areas of intense fighting has been delayed and many reports are still awaiting confirmation”.