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‘We should all support Ukrainians’ – Swiatek speaks out again in Doha trophy ceremony

The world No 1 Iga Swiatek once again spoke out about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Iga Swiatek Tennis – WTA 500 – Qatar Open – Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar – February 18, 2023 Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning the final match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

When Iga Swiatek took to her seat after defeating Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-0, naturally her thoughts turned to this time last year, when she won the Doha crown for the first time.

She was not, however, just thinking about herself, but about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She took the opportunity then to speak out about it, expressing her support for Ukrainians, and since then has been one of tennis’s loudest voices to take a stance on the ongoing war. She has not just spoken about it, but organised fundraising events for the Ukrainian people, and after her second consecutive triumph in Doha, the 21-year-old again proved herself one of the sport’s most admirable leaders.

“When I sat there I had a throwback to last year – that was the first tournament that I had a chance to make a speech when the war started in Ukraine,” she said during the trophy ceremony.

“I feel like we have pretty short memories. We should all support Ukrainians with everything they are coping with every day. It’s disappointing this situation is not changing, but hopefully they will stay strong.”

Her words were met with applause by the crowd, who may not have been able to see that she continues to wear a small loop of yellow and blue ribbon pinned to her ever-present baseball cap.

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