Tennis-Tsurenko speaks of guilt as she flies flag for Ukraine
"So the only thing is continue playing and, as I said, I donate 10% of my prize-money." Both players had spoken of the strain of pursuing their careers following Russia's invasion of their country and Tsurenko was emotional again as she spoke about the bombing of a shopping centre in Kremenchuk this week.
Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko spoke of her feelings of guilt after matching her best Wimbledon run on Wednesday by beating seeded compatriot Anhelina Kalinina 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the second round. The 33-year-old Tsurenko was allowed to wear a yellow and blue ribbon on her white outfit during the match but her joy at winning was overshadowed by the events in Ukraine.
"It's just horrible what is going on in Ukraine. I just feel terrible, and I feel very guilty, and I feel that it seems like there is nothing I can do," she told reporters. "So the only thing is continue playing and, as I said, I donate 10% of my prize-money."
Both players had spoken of the strain of pursuing their careers following Russia's invasion of their country and Tsurenko was emotional again as she spoke about the bombing of a shopping centre in Kremenchuk this week. "Again, the horrible things that are going on in Ukraine in the last week, terrorist act, a lot of civilians dead," Tsurenko, who said the All England Club had agreed to her wearing the ribbon, said.
"My fitness coach, he's from that city. His mother-in-law was working in this shopping centre, and she was lucky that she had a day off. Him and his father, they were not far away from that place. I think he got like some piece in his head." Tsurenko, the last Ukrainian player left in the singles after Marta Kostyuk was knocked out on Wednesday by Zhang Shuai, again praised Wimbledon for its ban on Russian and Belarussian players and said the support from the public was 'amazing'.
She can count on more support when she faces Jule Niemeier in round three after the German beat second seed Anett Kontaveit. Beaten 29th seed Kalinina, who is also in the doubles, will soon be back on the road and the reality of life as something of a tennis hermit, living out of a suitcase.
She has not been home since the week before Russia's invasion on Feb. 24, which Moscow calls a 'special operation', and has no idea when she will. "We are praying for peace, but I can't even imagine when we would be able to go home. I'm jumping like everyone else from tournament to tournament," she said.
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