Elina Svitolina has said she will refuse to play Russian or Belarusian players until they are classed as 'neutral athletes' and will withdraw from this week's Monterrey Open unless the WTA take action.
World No. 15 Svitolina is the top seed in Monterrey and is scheduled to play Russia’s Anastasia Potapova in the first round.
But, following Russia's full-scale invasion of her home country Ukraine, Svitolina has urged tennis' governing bodies to make a "necessary decision".
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“I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations: ATP, WTA and ITF,” wrote Svitolina on Twitter.
“As such, we – Ukrainian players – requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the recommendations of the IOC [International Olympic Committee] to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.”
The International Olympic Committee has recommended that all Russians and Belarusian athletes should be blocked from competing for their countries.
The IOC says if athletes cannot be blocked from competition, Russia and Belarus should not compete under their flag - as is already the case with Russia because of its recent doping scandals.
Svitolina, who told Eurosport that she plans to donate all her prize money to Ukraine, added: “Accordingly, I want to announce that I will not play tomorrow in Monterrey, nor any other match against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organizations take this necessary decision.
“I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland. Moreover, I wish to play tribute to all the players, especially Russian and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”
She added in another tweet: "I didn’t withdraw YET. As I mentioned in this statement, I will not compete if WTA will not take an action!"
The ATP and WTA are yet to make statements regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The ATP have announced the relocation of the St Petersburg Open in September to Kazakhstan capital Nur-Sultan, following more than 25 editions of the event.
The WTA have released a calendar for the next nine weeks of the season but that does not include the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in October. The ATP currently have the event on their calendar.
The International Tennis Federation have said they are cancelling all events in Russia “indefinitely”.
Russia has been hit with heavy sporting sanctions in recent days, with the Champions League final moved from St Petersburg to Paris and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi cancelled.
FIFA have also banned Russia from international football, including the men’s World Cup in Qatar.

Which tennis players could become 'neutral athletes'?

If tennis governing bodies did decide to class Russian or Belarusian nationals as 'neutral athletes' then several high-profile players would be impacted.
Among them would be newly-crowned world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, world No. 6 Andrey Rublev, and top-30 players Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov, who are all Russian.
Women's world No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka is from Belarus and there are five Russian women in the top 50 in the world: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Daria Kasatkina, Liudmila Samsonova, and Ekaterina Alexandrova.
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