After the sport’s regulatory agencies agreed to her demands, Elina Svitolina donned the yellow and blue of Ukraine and defeated Anastasia Potapova of Russia 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the Monterrey Open.
Top-seeded Svitolina previously stated that she would not play Potapova in Mexico or any Russian or Belarusian opponents until the WTA, ATP, and International Tennis Federation prohibited competitors from those countries from using any national symbols, flags, or anthems.
On Tuesday, the tennis governing bodies issued a statement confirming that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete on the top-tier men’s and women’s tennis tours, but without their national flags.
Svitolina is a two-time grand slam semi-finalist with 16 career tour-level title wins and has reached the No. 3 ranking.
“All of the prize money I’m going to earn will go to the Ukrainian army,” Svitolina said.
“I hold no grudge against any of the Russian athletes. They are not to blame for our motherland’s invasion.”
The winner of the Monterrey Open will receive $31,000 in prize money.