(Reuters) – Ukrainian former tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky enlisted in his country’s reserve army last week prior to Russia’s invasion, he said, despite a lack of military experience, although he can handle a gun.
Russia’s invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday followed a declaration of war by President Vladimir Putin.
The 36-year-old Stakhovsky, who won four ATP titles and had a shock win over Roger Federer in the second round of Wimbledon in 2013, said on Saturday he was willing to take up arms in Ukraine’s defence.
“Of course I would fight, it’s the only reason I’m trying to get back,” Stakhovsky told Sky News.
“I signed up for the reserves last week. I don’t have military experience, but I do have experience with a gun privately.
“My dad and brother are surgeons, they are stressed out, but I speak to them frequently – they sleep in the basement.
“None of us believed that this could happen, and yet it happened.”
Former heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko also enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army this month, saying that love for his country compelled him to defend it.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)