Potapova ‘should not’ support Russia publicly

Poland’s world number one Swiatek has publicly supported Ukraine during its invasion by Russia

Russian player Anastasia Potapova should not publicly support her country during its invasion of Ukraine, world number one Iga Swiatek has said.

Potapova wore a Spartak Moscow football shirt to her Indian Wells match before her three-set loss to American Jessica Pegula on Sunday.

The Russian, 21, said she had supported the club since she was 13 and saw no provocation in it.

“To be honest, I was surprised,” Poland’s Swiatek said.

“I thought the player realised that she should not, even if she is a fan of the team, show her views in this way at such times.”

Swiatek, speaking after defeating Bianca Andreescu to reach the last 16, has previously criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to compete on the WTA tour, but not under their national flags.

Swiatek, 21, has been in talks with the WTA over Potapova’s actions.

“I’ve talked to the WTA and in a way I found out that there should be less such situations because they will explain to other players that you can’t promote any Russian teams these days, which reassured me a bit,” she said.

“On the other hand, I think these situations unfortunately happen because this announcement should have taken place much earlier. There was a lot of chaos in the locker room at the beginning of the war.

“It was not clear how to approach everything, which causes such unpleasant situations. I think if there had been better leadership from the beginning, maybe we would have avoided such situations.”

Swiatek will play Britain’s Emma Raducanu in the last 16 on Wednesday.

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