Russian tennis chief hits back at Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina & calls her a ‘nobody’

Elina Svitolina

Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has criticised Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina for urging fellow players to condemn the Russian government. 

Svitolina has been vocal in speaking out against the invasion of her home country and wants Russian and Belarusian players to do the same. 

The All England Tennis Club have banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing at Wimbledon this year and Sviolina has stressed she feels this is correct “if players don’t speak out” against Russia. 

Tarpischev calls Svitolina a ‘nobody’ 

RTF President Tarpischev has responded to Svitolina’s comments and stressed that he feels it would be “stupid” for players to say anything. 

In an interview with Russia’s MetaRatings, Tarpischev hit back at the Ukrainian. 

“No need to pay attention, this is not only my opinion but also of lawyers,” he said. “If we make any statement we can be removed from some competitions. Now we are playing, everything is fine with us. It’s stupid to react at all. Who is Svitolina? A nobody.”

Tarpischev with Daniil Medvedev

Djokovic, Nadal and Murray criticise Wimbledon ban 

A number of tennis players have condemned Wimbledon for its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players. 

Former British number one Andy Murray said he was “not supportive of playing getting banned”, while Novak Djokovic described the decision as “crazy.” 

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal insisted it was his job to stand up for Russian and Belarusian players. 

Tarpischev has welcomed the support of these stars and says he is “grateful” for those who have defended Russian athletes. 

Andy Murray at Madrid Open

​​“Support from the top players is always needed,” he said. 

“Players and the [Russian] federation are grateful to all of the players who have already come out in defence of our athletes who are not allowed to compete [at Wimbledon].

“In my opinion, all the top players should support us and thus defend the competitive principle in the tennis world.”

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