Former Ukrainian ATP player and current army soldier Sergiy Stakhovsky has never been shy about slamming Putin’s Russia as the invasion of his country nears the one-year mark next week.

The 37-year-old who played his last career match in qualifying for the Australian Open a year ago, has since joined the resistance and served as the informal voice of tennis on the horrors of the Russian invasion.

With British tournaments including Queen’s and Eastbourne treading a fine line between banning Russian and Belarus players and the risk of losing ATP and WTA tournament licenses, Stacko has no doubts as to the correct path.

He laid out his logic for Sky Sports:

“We can’t afford to stop and stop fighting right now. If we stop and try to draw a line somewhere in Ukraine to find peace, we’re in for a brutal invasion in the next two years. 

“We know the Russians will re-arm and come back stronger, we must protect our borders.Ukrainian athletes cannot train, there have been more than 300 sports infrastructures destroyed by Russian missiles.

“We are going to lose a generation of Ukrainian athletes who do not have the resources to grow.

“I sincerely hope let the ban continues. The ban would show that money is not above everything.”

He soldier added  “I learned the hard way that everything you need to be happy is completely different from what I thought: it’s not too much. 

“You need your family, to be safe and feel supported, nothing more.”

Main photo:- Sergiy Stakhovsky in uniform on patrol in Kyiv