Potapova Defends Moscow Shirt Choice Amidst Tensions

Potapova Defends Moscow Shirt Choice Amidst Tensions

by Evita Mueller

Last last updated

Russian Anastasia Potapova faced scrutiny for her choice of attire when she sported a Spartak Moscow football jersey during a recent WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells.

Recently, the Russian player wore a football jersey of a Moscow-based club, a decision which lifted many eyebrows given the currently ongoing events in the world.

Despite facing backlash, Potapova defended her decision, maintaining that her actions were devoid of political intent. The 27th seed triumphed in a contentious matchup against Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk at the Miami Open, securing her spot in the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

This hard-fought win came on the heels of the WTA issuing Potapova a formal warning for donning the controversial shirt ahead of her match with Jessica Pegula at Indian Wells.

In a display of heightened emotions, Kostyuk abstained from the customary handshake following the match, illustrating her disapproval of sharing the court with a Russian competitor.

Addressing the media in Miami, Potapova explained her connection to the Spartak Moscow team, emphasizing the personal significance it held for her and her family, denying allegations that she was trying to make a political statement.

“It's very sad that people seeing things that isn't actually the truth. I'm just super fan of Spartak since I was 10 years old. My dad built part of the stadium for this team, so it's our family thing.”

Caught off guard by the WTA's warning, Potapova expressed her disappointment in the way her actions were interpreted. According to the Russian, "people are seeing what they only want to see," as she stood by her point.

“We were surprised but whatever. It's as I said, people are seeing what they only want to see.”


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