Tsurenko's withdrawal due to panic attack triggered by comments made by WTA CEO Steve Simon surrounding Russian and Belarusian players

Aryna Sabalenka received a walkover at Indian Wells in the early hours of Monday morning with Lesia Tsurenko withdrawing due to personal issues.

That has now emerged to be a panic attack which she said was caused by comments made by WTA CEO, Steve Simon about the war saying that while he doesn't support it, she shouldn't get upset if the Russian and Belarusian players support their government.

"A few days ago I had a conversation with our WTA CEO Steve Simon and I was absolutely shocked by what I heard," she said as per BTU.

"He told me that he himself does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus support it, then this is only their own opinion, and the opinion of other people should not upset me.

"At the same time, he noted that if this happened to him and he was in my place, he would feel terrible."

"I was absolutely shocked by this conversation, and already in the last match [against Donna Vekic] it was incredibly difficult to play, difficult to get together and today, when it was time to go to the court, I had a panic attack and I just couldn’t go there," she added.

I really hope that I can digest all this information and be more prepared for the next tournament. We asked for a conference call with the WTA Board of Directors to raise the question of how a man like Steve Simon can be a leader in the WTA and what we can do about it.

How can we further understand that our organization somehow protects our rights? I just don’t understand how it happened in this world that such things need to be explained. This is very surprising and very painful"

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WTA Lesia Tsurenko

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