Sergy Stakovsky, from national tennis champion to soldier on the front lines


Video length: 3 mins.

France 2

Article written by

S.Perez, C.Cormery, L.Lavieille, D.Padlaka, A.Makrushyn – France 2

France Televisions

As the Roland-Garros tournament is nearing its end, the 13 Hours paints the portrait of a former Ukrainian professional player, Sergy Stakovsky, who has been on the front lines since the start of the Russian invasion.

For him, tennis is a thing of the past. Sergy Stakovsky, old 31e worldwide, swapped his shorts for the fatigues of the Ukrainian reserve army at the start of the war. I would never have imagined that my career would end so abruptly. (…) I keep an eye on the results of Roland-Garros. The stadium with its roof, the atmosphere, I miss it, he testifies. His main feat of arms: a victory against Roger Federer in 2015. He never imagined finding himself, almost ten years later, in the hell of Bakhmout.

A tennis player turned model

Gradually you get used to everything. To fear, to death, to mass destruction. (…) But you never get used to the despair of people, who have lost everything. I take risks, but (…) I am no different from the others, says Sergy Stakovsky, who has become a national hero. On the outskirts of kyiv, tennis courts bear the scars of a Russian drone attack. Sergy Stakovsky, who is preparing to return to the front, does not have time to watch the Roland-Garros matches, but salutes the career of his compatriot, Elina Svitolina.

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