Latest Russia-Ukraine War News: Live Updates

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WIMBLEDON, England — Lesia Tsurenko’s Wimbledon marketing campaign ended Friday throughout a match wherein her head was someplace else.

Tsurenko, a 33-year-old tennis veteran from Kyiv, had been watching the information from dwelling all week and seeing that Russians had bombed a shopping center and different civilian targets.

“They’re simply making an attempt to kill as many individuals as potential,” Tsurenko mentioned of the Russian army.

Since February, she had gotten higher at retaining ideas in regards to the Russian invasion of Ukraine out of her thoughts when she was on the tennis courtroom, however Friday was a foul day. She mentioned she felt off-balance from the time she awoke, “like there was no floor beneath my ft.” And as soon as she took the courtroom in opposition to Jule Neimeier of Germany, she mentioned she “had no thought learn how to play tennis.”

Juggling the fixed journey and bodily and psychological grind {of professional} tennis is tough for even the perfect gamers. For gamers from Ukraine lately, who haven’t been dwelling in months and spend a lot of their free time getting updates on the well being and security of family and friends members again dwelling, the problem is monumental.

The excellent news for Tsurenko is she appears to have discovered a semi-permanent dwelling in northern Italy, at an academy run by the famed coach Ricardo Piatti. She has an residence. Her sister, Oksana, not too long ago joined her. So did her husband, Nikita Vlasov, a former army officer, who is able to return as quickly as he will get the decision however for the second the forces don’t want somebody at his stage.

“We now have no downside with individuals,” Tsurenko mentioned, a short while after her defeat. “The issue is the heavy weapons.”

Tsurenko left Ukraine earlier than the conflict began, so she isn’t technically a refugee. Just lately, she needed to miss a event so she might keep in Italy and file paperwork to permit her to stay there. She is ready for approval. Additionally, her mom, who lives close to Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, doesn’t wish to go away, regardless of heavy bombing. The mom of her sister’s husband additionally lives there.

Her time taking part in tennis in England the previous month has supplied a respite. Russian and Belarusian gamers had been barred from competing at Wimbledon. Understanding how in style President Vladimir V. Putin stays in Russia, Tsurenko has assumed among the Russian and Belarusian gamers probably help him. It’s been higher, she mentioned, not bumping into them within the locker room, although she is going to quickly when the WTA Tour strikes outdoors of Britain they usually return to competitors.

There have been many matches for the reason that conflict started Feb. 24 when Tsurenko has puzzled what she is even doing taking part in tennis. One explicit match in Marbella, Spain, stands out. That morning she had seen a photograph of an administration constructing in Mykolaiv with a large gap from a missile strike. She couldn’t get the picture out of her head.

These days, although, she has discovered readability. She has at all times performed tennis as a result of she loves the sport. The riches the game supplied by no means motivated her. Now they do.

“I play for the cash now,” she mentioned. “I wish to earn a lot so I can donate this,” she mentioned, “I really feel like which may be a foul high quality, as a result of it has nothing to do with tennis, however that’s what I’m taking part in.”

Coming into the event, Tsurenko, who has 4 profession WTA titles and has earned greater than $5 million, had gained $214,000 to date this yr. Making the third spherical at Wimbledon earned her a further $96,000. For the world’s one hundred and first ranked participant, that may be a stable month’s work. She hopes there will likely be extra forward this summer time.

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