Currently, Russian and Belarusian players are allowed to compete on the ATP and WTA Tour but under certain conditions.
One of those conditions is that players from these countries have to compete under a neutral flag because of an ongoing War in Ukraine. In the past, the likes of Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev called for peace but Anastasia Potapova made a very interesting choice at the 2023 Indian Wells.
During her third-round match against Jessica Pegula at the 2023 Indian Wells, Russian tennis player Anastasia Potapova made an unexpected fashion statement. Potapova arrived at the tennis court with a Spartak Moscow jersey rather than the classic tennis outfit.
That wouldn't be weird as the likes of Victoria Azarenka also showed their support to teams in the past. The Belarusian often wears a jersey of PSG, the French football team, while Nick Kyrgios likes to practice in jerseys of various NBA teams.
However, Potapova's situation is different. While some fans may have seen this as a harmless nod to her favorite sports team, others were outraged by the move. As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russian players are currently competing under a neutral flag on the WTA Tour
Potapova's choice to don a Moscow jersey has only heated things up further. Many of the fans are now speculating about her motivations and wondering if she was attempting to make a political statement on purpose. Others are outraged that she would show support for a Russian team during a time when tensions between Russia and Ukraine are so high.
Some even demanded her disqualification, and it is unclear what if any penalties Potapova will experience as a result of her attire selection. One thing is for sure, though: this incident has once again brought to light how difficult it can be when politics and sports collide, as well as the difficulties that result, and again opened up a discussion about a possible ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes at the upcoming Wimbledon.
It's not the first time that Potapova wore the jersey as she took a picture in it during her practice session in Dubai.