Lesia Tsurenko has opposed certain organisations for lifting bans on Russian players amid the war in Ukraine.
Tsurenko has often been outspoken on the issue of the Russia-Ukraine war and has raised tensions on occasion this season for refusing to shake the hand of Russian player Daria Kasatkina at the Madrid Open. Also, ahead of the 2023 Roland Garros, the 34-year-old urged Ukrainian players to show "no sympathy" against Russian competitors.
Once again, Tsurenko used her platform to question why Russian players have been allowed to compete once again at big sporting events, like the 2023 Wimbledon and the 2024 Paris Olympics. After her first-round victory over Barbora Krejcikova, Tsurenko didn't hold back in sharing her frustrations over the return of Russian players.
"I mean, I don't think that it's something that if we get something like that we should not talk, you know. I still feel that there are many issues going on, like future Olympic games in Paris, which is -- I cannot understand what changed really that a year ago so many sportsmen around the world were banned from a sport and now they are coming back. I don't see a clear reason for that just because nothing really changed. The war still going on."
Hostilities over the Russia-Ukraine war have continued to spill over into sports arenas since the conflict began in February 2022. Players have continued to use their profiles to speak out against the war and Tsurenko believes the sanctions have had some impact, despite her general opposition to Russian players returning.
"I think that all the sanctions and all the things have been made just to show that you cannot just invade the country, other country, and you cannot just come at 4 a.m. to another country and start bombing this country."
"So I think that's a strong message that should be said, and if we or other organizations doing these step-backs, we should tell them they are wrong, and we should continue saying that."