A tennis fan draped in a Ukraine flag was ejected from a match involving Russian players.
The fan says she was asked to leave by the umpire because the flag was "agitating" the players.
The Cincinnati Masters has said the woman was ejected because her flag was too big.
A tennis fan who was draped in a Ukraine flag was ejected from a match involving two Russians at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday after one player made a complaint.
The woman, an American originally from Uzbekistan, told a local television station that she was watching a qualifier between Anna Kalinskaya and Anastasia Potapova when she was asked by the umpire to remove the flag.
When she refused to comply, the woman said the match was stopped and she was asked to leave or the police would be called.
"We had our Ukrainian flag, not doing anything crazy [or] distracting players, but wrapped around, sitting there peacefully and quiet," she told Local12.
"The message I got was that it is agitating Russian players. I said, 'I'm not putting it away.' They kept playing for a minute or two. Then, they stopped the game again, and then the security guard came up to me and said, 'Ma'am, I'm going to call the cops if you won't leave.'"
"This is not Russia," she added. "This is United States of America."
—Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 15, 2022
A spokesperson for the tournament told ESPN that the woman was asked to leave the match because her flag exceeded tournament size rules.
"Per the Western & Southern Open's bag policy, as stated on the tournament's website, flags or banners larger than 18 x 18 are prohibited," said the spokesperson.
"Therefore, the patron was asked to remove the flag from the grounds and after doing so was allowed to remain at the tournament."
The former Ukrainian men's tennis star Alex Dolgopolov responded to the incident by urging his fans to bring Ukraine flags to any Russian or Belarusian matches they watch.
"Our country is drowning in blood and barbaric violence, no Russian will bully a silent supporter wearing a Ukraine flag!" he tweeted. "Have some respect."
—Alex Dolgopolov (@TheDolgo) August 16, 2022
Tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg said that he has never seen a fan ejected from the tournament because of the size of a flag.
"There have been similarly sized flags happily waved and displayed around the stadia here for years, most often US and Serbian flags," he tweeted.
"This is not a policy that has ever been enforced with any regularity."
The WTA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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