Fan wearing Ukraine flag escorted out of Western & Southern Open after Russian player complained

A fan was briefly removed from the Western & Southern Open on Sunday after a Russian player complained to the referee during their match that the fan was sitting there with a Ukrainian flag draped around her shoulders.
During the first set of the qualifier between Anna Kalinskaya and Anastasia Potapova, both Russians, on Sunday in Cincinnati, one of the players stopped and complained to referee Morgane Lane.
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According to Racquet Magazine's Ben Rothenberg, the problem had to do with a spectator watching directly behind them. The fan, Lola, apparently just sat quietly watching the game with the Ukrainian flag draped around her shoulders and a Ukrainian wreath of flowers crown.
Lane then climbed down from the chair and confronted Lola about her actions being "not nice."
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Lola, per Rothenberg, responded with "[it] not nice to invade a country" - clearly referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has now been going on for almost six months.
From then on, the incident escalated and Lola subsequently left the match. Security later found her and said her flag was larger than the allowed 18 x 18 inches - a guideline that is rarely, if ever, enforced.
Lola then trimmed her flag to the required size but was escorted to the car park by security and told to leave it there.
The tournament cited the flag size rule when asked for comment. The WTA did not respond to Rothenberg.
Kalinskaya defeated Potapova in straight sets 7-5, 6-1. It's unclear which player complained first and how the other reacted.
Sunday's incident is the latest related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in recent months. Wimbledon organizers banned players from Russia and Belarus from their tournament earlier this year, but then the WTA and the ATP didn't award points from the event in response. Russian players on both tours were allowed to play but did so under a neutral flag.
The Western & Southern Open runs until August 21st.
A Russian player stopped her game on Sunday to complain about a fan who was reportedly sitting quietly with a Ukrainian flag draped over his shoulders. (Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Anastasia Potapova
Russian tennis player
Anna Kalinskaya
Russian tennis player

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