Sergiy Stakhovsky news: Ukrainian former player explains why he’s joined the front line in Kyiv
Former Ukrainian tennis star, Sergiy Stakhovsky, announced he was taking up arms against Russia at the start of this month, and now he’s on the front line in Kyiv.
The former world No 31 retired after the Australian Open in January, but instead of focussing on what he’ll be doing with him time after his sporting career he’s joined up with the Ukrainian military and has been stationed in the country’s capital.
Although he was adamant he wanted to help his home country in their war against Putin, he’s struggled with being separated from his family who have stayed in Hungary where they all now reside.
About a month and a half after the last match of his tennis career, Sergiy Stakhovsky left his wife and three young kids to defend Ukraine “with a gun in my hands.”@HowardFendrich spoke to Stakhovsky about Russia’s invasion of his homeland: https://t.co/IKuNsRZMOc pic.twitter.com/GdlAuq4uHD
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) March 17, 2022
“Having three kids with my wife worrying daily, it’s hard to justify being here,” the 36-year-old told the Times.
“You don’t know when a missile could fly into any building, it’s roulette, but she understands why and that I couldn’t do it any other way.
“Talk to family and you think you should be with them, but if I was with them I would also feel I should be in Ukraine.”
Millions of Ukrainians have already fled their homes and there’s been destruction of cities of a massive scale, and it’s seen athletes like Stakhovsky and boxing champions Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko join the war effort.
But the four time title winner has struggled the most with telling his children about the atrocities happening in the country.
Stakhovsky explained: “They’re fairly young and I just don’t believe they would understand the meaning of war, and I don’t believe they would understand any of it, my wife knew but she never asked the direct question and I never told her directly – so when I told her ‘I’m leaving’ she started crying, so there was not really a conversation.
“It’s tough to call with kids, because every time they ask, ‘When are you coming?’ or ‘What are you doing?’ I’m just, ‘I don’t know, honestly.’ For me, it’s not a right decision to be here and it was not the right decision to stay home, any of this is not right.
“But I am here because I believe that the future of my country and the future of my kids, and the future of Europe as we know it – it is under great danger, and if there’s anything I can do to change the outcome, I will try to do it.”
The war in Ukraine is still ongoing.
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