WTA chief executive Steve Simon says the governing body are doing all they can to help players from Ukraine.
Players from Russia and Belarus have played under a neutral flag since the start of the war in February 2022.
Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko said she withdrew from her Indian Wells match against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka this week after a panic attack following a conversation with WTA chief executive Steve Simon.
Tsurenko said she was “shocked” by Simon’s answers about tennis’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Simon insists the WTA are fully opposed to the war and will continue to adopt a policy of having Russian and Belarusian players recognised as neutral athletes.
“We have done a lot for our athletes, I know there’s a variety of opinions on that out there.
“What’s going on in Ukraine is reprehensible. You can’t support it any way – nor what the Russian government is doing.
“We spoke with Anastasia directly and also have given her a warning, so she knows that this was not appropriate and I don’t think we will see any further instances of this going forward.
“Our sympathies are at the highest level with everybody in Ukraine and I don’t think any of us can properly understand what they are going through.
“I don’t think that any of this is lessening what’s going on over there.
“We continue to speak with [Russian and Belarusian players] and make sure they understand about the sensitivities here and that they are competing as neutral athletes. I think there is a strong understanding on that.
“We’ve always had the position – and it’s been a fundamental position of the tour – that every player that is eligible should be allowed to play. And this is irrespective to decisions that may have been made by local governments.
“We’ve been consistent with that and we are going to stay consistent with that. We think that the neutral approach is appropriate.”
Daniil Medvedev, the most recognised Russian player in tennis sympathised with the Ukrainian players on the tour.
“For sure, the situation with Tsurenko, I don’t know in detail. It’s more for her and for maybe a little bit Sabalenka to answer.
“Talking about top players, of course we have a responsibility, and it depends how every person, individual, will do with it and will hold with it,” he said.
“I always said the same, I’m for peace all over the world, and that’s all I can say.”
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