Ukrainian Tennis Player Sergiy Stakhovsky Left His Family To Fight For Country

When the going gets tough, some athletes pick up their ball and go home.

Former Wimbledon champ Sergiy Stakhovsky is picking up his 20-lb set and heading home to defend Ukraine's sovereignty — bracing for the despotism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops.

The Ukrainian and former tennis player made a decision last week to surrender a life he had built to keep his country from crumbling.

In an interview with the BBC, Stakhovsky called from Ukraine amid the ongoing siege to discuss his harrowing decision to fight alongside Ukrainian forces — forced to leave tennis, his family and liberty behind.

"It's very hard to explain even for myself, but I just couldn't do any different. I just couldn't see all the people putting themselves in harm's way, sending their wives and children away to the borderline and just staying behind."

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)