Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko Hits Out At Rublev’s Reaction To Wimbledon Ban - UBITENNIS
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Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko Hits Out At Rublev’s Reaction To Wimbledon Ban

The former top 25 player has hit out at Rublev who has branded the ban as ‘complete discrimination.’




Andrey Rublev at the 2022 Monte Carlo Masters (photo - Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Lesia Tsurenko has criticized what she describes as Andrey Rublev’s lack of interest in the current war between Russia and Ukraine following his response to the Wimbledon ban.


On Wednesday The All England Tennis Club confirmed that they will become the first Grand Slam to ban Russian and Belarussian players in response to the devastating war in Ukraine which has claimed the lives of at least 2,345 people, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The move has split opinion in tennis with some arguing the sport and politics should be kept separate. Both the WTA and ATP have already spoken out against Wimbledon, as well as the British LTA who are also taking similar measures.

Rublev is one of those players who are banned from the grass court major. Speaking to reporters at the Serbian Open, Rublev said he has ‘no education’ about the current situation in Ukraine and is not watching the news. Although he believes the ban is ‘complete discrimination.’

“The reasons they (Wimbledon) gave us had no sense, they were illogical,” said Rublev.
“What is happening now is complete discrimination against us.”

The remarks of the men’s world No.8 have sparked an angry response from Tsurenko who decided to call him out on social media by posting a screenshot of a CNN article concerning his comments. Tsurenko is from Kyiv and last month revealed that she has been suffering from headaches and panic attacks as a result of the conflict. Like many other Ukrainian players, she is currently travelling on the Tour unsure about when she will be able to return home again.

“That man (Rublev) is not interested in what is happening in his own country. At all. He also is not interested in what is happening in the neighbouring country. Impressive.” Tsurenko wrote.
“What an abyss between our states and people, that I have not noticed for so long! I so regret it. I was blind.”

One Twitter user commented on the post by saying he was ‘shocked’ that Rublev didn’t know much about the conflict. Which then prompted Tsurenko to further comment `- ”to understand what’s actually happening you just need to have eyes and ears.”

Rublev has previously called for there to be no war. The day after Russian launched its attack on Ukraine, he wrote ‘no war please’ on the camera lens following one of his matches at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Something other players have also done. However, none of them have ever directly spoken out against their government.

Hitting back at the criticism of Rublev, Croatia’s Donna Vekic points out that he has previously offered to donate his prize money to those affected by the war if he was allowed to play at Wimbledon.

Rublev has so far not publicly commented on Tsurenko’s remarks.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…





Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.


Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.




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Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 


The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

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Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.




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Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 


The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

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