Ukrainian opponents to make show of solidarity after family 'bombed out of their apartment'

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Anhelina Kalinina from the Ukraine in action against Anna Bondar on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. - PA
Anhelina Kalinina from the Ukraine in action against Anna Bondar on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. - PA

Anhelina Kalinina set up a second round match against her Ukrainian compatriot Lesia Tsurenko and revealed that her Wimbledon prize-money will be sent home to family and friends currently living “on their bags” after their apartment block was bombed.

Kalinina and Tsurenko are also discussing a very public display of solidarity when they meet on Wednesday, with Tsurenko keen to clarify what Wimbledon would allow her to display on-court following the ban on all Russian and Belarussian players.

Kalinina did have a yellow and blue ribbon on her kit-bag and, revealing that the family apartment had been bombed, said: "Thanks God they are alive. They are safe. But they live like many other Ukrainians, on the bags, so you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. There are huge holes in the house. There are no apartments anymore.

"So they live in my apartment where I'm living with my husband. It's a very small apartment for my family .. my mum, my dad, my brother, and they have pets. It's hard to focus, but for me it matters if I win or if I lose. I'm not only helping my family, I'm helping other families.

"I'm helping a lot to my grandmother and grandfather who is in occupied territory. They can't leave. Next door is Russian soldiers with all their military stuff."

Anhelina Kalinina from the Ukraine in action against Anna Bondar on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. - PA
Anhelina Kalinina from the Ukraine in action against Anna Bondar on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. - PA

Asked about the ban on Russian players, the world number 34 said: “We cannot compare this with what they are now missing and how many millions of people are killed, still dying, and how many refugees are brought and surviving, with mothers with their kids, people are out of money, out of family, out of their jobs. They don't have anything. They are like homeless.”

Tsurenko is unhappy with the WTA’s decision to remove Wimbledon ranking points this year and said that there is now tension when she sees Russian or Belarussian players on tour. “I don't feel good seeing them. For me emotionally winning or losing doesn't exist anymore.

“I feel really worried, especially because I know that they [the Russians] are trying to get the one object… which is 100 meters away from my home, from the building where I live. I work every day with a psychologist [but]… I think this feeling, this tension will only be released when the war will finish. A lot of people that I know are on the front line now. One guy has been taken by Russians. Two more guys are fighting … and a few people dead already. We just want to remind people that Ukraine is in trouble and we need help.”

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