WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Top-ranked Iga Swiatek will host a charity tennis event next month in her home country of Poland to raise funds for children and teenagers impacted by the war in Ukraine.
The event in Krakow on July 23 will feature a mixed doubles exhibition match and Ukraine soccer great Andriy Shevchenko will be a special guest.
“I hope that we can see each other in large numbers in TAURON Arena Krakow and in front of the television to show the strength of sport when it unites us in helping and gives us at least a little joy," Swiatek said Wednesday on her social media accounts.
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine will serve as umpire for the event. They hope to sell at least 10,000 tickets.
“Total proceeds from the event will be donated to the support of children and teenagers affected by the war in Ukraine,” Swiatek said.
The 21-year-old Swiatek has been wearing a pin with the Ukrainian colours during her matches. She has a second-round match scheduled for Thursday at Wimbledon.
More than 4 million refugees crossed into Poland after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Poland is providing them with free shelter, social and medical care, education and job opportunities.
The All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus from competing this year at Wimbledon because of the war.