in ,

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.

“I know that it is extremely hard on my wife. My kids don’t know that I’m here,” Stakhovsky said.

Stakhovsky noted that while his call to arms felt like an inherent duty to his country, leaving his wife and three children has been a great hurdle.

ZAPORIZHZHIA, UKRAINE – MARCH 6, 2020 – Sergiy Stakovsky of Ukraine is seen in action with Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei during the Davis Cup World Group I First Round Play-Offs tie at the Yunist Palace of Sports, Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine. – PHOTOGRAPH BY Ukrinform / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Dmytro Smolyenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Stakhovsky told his children that he’d be going away to compete at a tennis tournament; unable to explain the terrors of war that beg for his help in Ukraine.

“They don’t understand war. They’re too little to understand what’s going on.” 

While he hopes to make it back home to them in the near or distant future, Stakhovsky is prepared to fight for Ukraine, in any capacity.

“I know how to use a gun,” Stakhovsky added. “I pretty much hope that I will not have to use the gun, but if I have to, I’ll have to.”

Nonetheless, Stakhovsky firmly understands why he’s in Ukraine today.

“It’s very hard to explain the motivation of me coming here actually,” Stakhovsky mentioned.

“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.”

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Guided by Kevin Harlan on one shoulder, Eli Manning on the other, Alejandro joins the OutKick community with an authentic passion for sports, pop culture, America, and episodes of Jeopardy!

 

Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

4 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. He should start by getting rid of Zelensky. His fake tough guy persona has gotten many killed. His failure to warn his people of the possible invasion by continuously say it’s never going to happen cost countless lives. Once people stop basing their opinions of something other than emotions they might start to see things for what they really are.

    • So standing up for your country as the President and not running off and cowering is a tough guy persona? Pretty sure not one other President or politician for that matter anywhere in the world would do what that guy has done. All Ukranians should of just packed up and gave up their country to Russian when they said they were going to invade?? For someone who has a “dont tread on me” as their picture, this is a baffling take.

Leave a Reply

to comment on this post. Not a VIP? Signup Here