Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky ‘will use gun if I have to’ after joining reserve army

‘I pretty much hope that I will not have to use the gun, but if I have to, I’ll have to’

Sergiy Stakhovsky says he will use a gun if necessary after the tennis player joined the Ukraine reserve army following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

“I know how to use the gun,” he said in an interview with BBC Today. “I pretty much hope that I will not have to use the gun, but if I have to, I’ll have to.”

Stakhovsky, who beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, said his wife did not speak to him for a day after he explained he would be joining the army reserves and his children think he is away at another tennis tournament.

“I know that it is extremely hard on my wife. My kids don’t know that I’m here. They don’t understand war. They’re too little to understand what’s going on,” said Stakhovsky, who retired from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January.


Yesterday, the WTA, ATP, ITF and the Grand Slam tournaments ruled that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete at the Grand Slam tournaments and both tours but they will not play under their national flags. The ITF board, meanwhile, has indefinitely suspended the Russian Tennis Federation and the Belarus Tennis Federation from ITF membership and team competitions.

Their players will be unable to compete in the Davis and Billie Jean King Cups, plus team competitions in the wheelchair, seniors, junior and beach tennis divisions.

“A deep sense of distress, shock and sadness has been felt across the entire tennis community following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the past week,” the governing bodies said in a joint statement.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.” – Guardian