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Ukrainian Tennis Player Sergiy Stakhovsky Leaves Family to Join Army

The eight-time ATP Tour title winner Sergiy Stakhovsky announced he will be joining the Ukrainian army to defend his home country.

Stakhovsky was just playing in the Australian Open in January, but following the tournament announced his retirement after 19 years. 

Now, the 36-year-old is hanging up his racket to fight for his country amid the ongoing Russian invasion. He announced earlier this week on BBC Radio 4 Today that he would be leaving his wife and three kids to join the army.

“I know that it is extremely hard on my wife,” Stakhovsky said. “My kids don’t know that I’m here. They don’t understand war. They‘re too little to understand what’s going on.”

The Ukrainian tennis player went on to explain that he told his kids he’d “be right back,” and that he assumes his wife told his kids that he is just at another tennis tournament.

Stakhovsky admitted he has no military experience and doesn’t expect much training. However, he does know how to use a gun. He hopes not to have to use it, though. 

“It’s hard to explain the motivation of me coming here actually,” Stakhovsky said. “It’s very hard to explain even for myself, but I just couldn’t do any different, I think. I just couldn’t see all the people putting themselves in harm’s way, sending their wives and kids away to the borderline and just staying behind.”

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