“I Have to Quit Tennis Now”: Shocking News From WTA After Former French Open Champ Jelena Ostapenko Shares Heart-Breaking Update – EssentiallySports

“I Have to Quit Tennis Now”: Shocking News From WTA After Former French Open Champ Jelena Ostapenko Shares Heart-Breaking Update – EssentiallySports

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the tennis community has taken several steps to disengage itself from all Russian alliances. From banning Russian and Belarusian players from participating in the tournaments to issuing sanctions against them, authorities across countries and tournaments have taken strong steps to show solidarity and sympathy for Ukraine. In a recent decision, the Latvian Olympic Committee (LOK) has announced the suspension of state funding for five of its athletes, including tennis player Jelena Ostapenko.

The committee serves this sanction as a punishment for the players’ participation in competitions that included competitors from Russia and Belarus. The decision to suspend funding is confirmed by LOK general secretary Kārlis Lejnieks, who states that the monthly allowance of the Latvian Olympic Unit (LOV) will be halted from this month. The decision to issue this sanction may or may not financially affect the players but it sure is being debated upon for its judgemental value.

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Jelena Ostapenko loses the financial support of her country despite being a WTA top 25 player

This decision is part of a wider effort to sever ties with countries that maintain close relationships with Russia.  Reacting to the move Ostapenko says, “Of course, they have reached out, but honestly there is really nothing to do because I’m not organizing tournaments. The WTA is the one who is organizing tournaments and I don’t have any opportunities to play in any other tournaments.”

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The funding amounts to almost $22,000 a year. For Ostapenko it is frankly quite impossible to stick to the guidelines of the Latvian government. When there are six Russian and Belarusian players in the WTA top 25, naturally they will participate in all the major tournaments. Complying with these conditions will mean no professional tennis for Ostapenko.

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“I don’t have any opportunities to play in any other tournaments. It means…I have to quit tennis now,” she said.

For Jeļena Ostapenko, this decision represents a significant setback in her career, as she will now have to find alternative sources of funding to support her training and competitions. However, given her impressive track record, it is likely that she will continue to receive support from private sponsors and other sources.

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It remains to be seen how this decision will affect her performance in upcoming tournaments. However, Latvian funds may resume after consultation with the Ministry of Interior and other relevant institutions.

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