Russia’s Vera Zvonareva Denied Entry To Poland For WTA Tournament

File image of Vera Zvonareva© AFP

Russian former world number two Vera Zvonareva has been denied entry to Poland where she was to participate in next week’s Polish Open WTA tournament, the interior ministry said on Saturday. “Vera Zvonareva was trying to enter our country with a visa granted by France, via a flight from Belgrade,” according to a statement issued by the Polish ministry. “On July 21, Polish border guards made it impossible for the Russian tennis player to enter Poland.”

Polish authorities said that the former Wimbledon and US Open runner-up remained in the transit area of Warsaw airport before catching a flight to Podgorica in Montenegro.

The 38-year-old is on the list of “undesirable” people in Poland following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ministry said.

“Poland steadfastly opposes the regime of (Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir) Putin and (Alexander) Lukashenko, not allowing people who support Russian and Belarusian actions to enter our country,” the statement added.

The WTA, which runs the women’s game, said they are aware of the situation. “The safety and well-being of all players is a top priority of the WTA. Vera has departed Poland and we will be evaluating the issue further with the event,” they said in a statement.

Former Olympic singles bronze medallist Zvonareva has won 12 career singles titles. She is also a four-time Grand Slam champion — twice in doubles and twice mixed doubles  — and helped Russia to victory in the Fed Cup in 2004 and 2008.

The Muscovite has fallen to 655th in the world from her career-high number two ranking in 2010.

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