Controversy as 13 players sign up for Formula TX exhibition in Saint Petersburg next month including KUDERMETOVA, KHACHANOV and MANNARINO

Tennis News
Tuesday, 28 November 2023 at 16:00
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Exhibitions are commonplace during the tennis off-season with the World Tennis League for instance taking place over Christmas in Abu Dhabi, but one event has drawn the ire after being confirmed recently on social media in the form of Formula TX which will take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
A usual exhibition in recent years after the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy WTA 250 was axed, 14 players including multiple Europeans have signed up to play the tournament.
Ukrainian Tennis also known as BTU posted about the tournament on social media platform X alleging that Gazprom who own private military battalions are funding the event. A company who have been openly supporting the Russian war against Ukraine.
The Lions v The Sphinxes as it is known will be played from December 1 at the KSC Arena. Eleven matches will be played over the three days, with Karen Khachanov set to return to home soil to lead The Lions. Anastasia Potapova and Alexander Shevchenko who are together off court alongside Viktoriya Tomova, Jasmine Paolini and Laslo Djere will be part of the team also.
While The Sphinxes lead by Veronika Kudermetova will also have Dusan Lajovic, Diana Shnaider, Roberto Bautista Agut, Adrian Mannarino and Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
Nikolay Davydenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova have also been added to the tournament as legends.
Many wondered if the WTA and ATP could sanction these players for being involved, but the former said that while they do not support it, the players are independent contractors so can do as they please.
"This event is not affiliated with the WTA nor is the WTA supportive of the event being held," the governing body of women's tennis told Reuters.
"Players compete on the WTA Tour as independent contractors and, at their discretion, have the ability to participate in an exhibition without penalty during the off-season."

13 top tennis players, incl athletes from Europe 🇫🇷🇮🇹🇪🇸 will play in Russia - at the exho tournament of Gazprom, which reportedly finances mercenary companies for war against Ukraine Do ATP & WTA give their players permission to take part in this event as it was in 2022? 🧵👇


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