A number of former and current Ukrainian athletes took up guns and joined the defense Ukraine from the aggressor of Russia. One of them is a tennis player Aleksandr Dolgopolov (33).
He played his last professional match five years ago. At the peak of his career, he was ranked 13th in the world and won three titles, including the ATP tournament in Umag in 2011 when he won against Marin Čilić. All that is behind him, now his only goal is to defend his country.
The Ukrainian joined the defense of his country just after the beginning of the aggression. At that time he was in Turkey where he was undergoing training so he planned how to get to Ukraine. Dolgopolov publishes photos from the field every day, his role is to operate drones that spy on the Russians, and this time he demonstrated what it looks like. They filmed him flying bomber drones.
– Practice makes perfect – it says in the description.
Scenes of the screams of frightened people who have to leave their homes and shelled Ukrainian cities shook him. This is precisely why he practiced shooting during his stay in Turkey so that he could join the defense of his homeland.
– At that time, I started practicing shooting and I am happy that a former soldier trained me for five days. Thanks to my Turkish friends. In the meantime, I didn’t become Rambo in a week, but I am much safer with a weapon and can hit the head three out of five from a distance of 25 meters in a quiet environment – says the former tennis player.
He bought the equipment in Zagreb and entered Kyiv via Poland. There, he joined a number of famous athletes such as the Klitschko brothers, Oleksandr Usik, Sergiy Stahovski… who have been on the battlefield for some time.
– I found a few other guys who were planning to go to Ukraine and when we were ready, we started our journey. We bought some bulletproof vests for us and our soldiers and traveled to Zagreb, where we bought all the things we needed along with some thermal monoculars and other miscellaneous things. We passed through Europe and entered Ukraine from Poland. I am currently in Kiev – concluded Dolgopolov.