Tennis star Sofya Zhuk revealed receiving aggressive comments after posting a topless photo of herself on Instagram in April. The former tennis prodigy forged a modeling career after being forced into early retirement in 2019 due to a chronic back injury.

In an interview with RT this week, Sofya Zhuk revealed that not every photo she shares pleases her fans. In fact, she said she constantly receives brutal abuse online for sharing racy photos of herself on social media.  

“I didn’t get quite what was the big deal,” she said. “I posted a photo, so what? When I share something, I’m not trying to send any message,” she added.

Zhuk believes the hate comes from the fact that some of her fans are still struggling to see her as having a life beyond tennis. “I’m just posting a picture that I like. But when I shared that photo, I received an avalanche of messages. Normally, I wouldn’t bother about them, but this time around they were so aggressive. I just think people simply cannot accept that I’ve found myself outside tennis, that I can live happily without sport and not sinking into depression,” she said.

Sofya Zhuk, who bagged the junior Wimbledon title in 2015, left tennis last year due to persistent injuries. She did not reveal the devastating news until April this year.

Zhuk revealed she had been struggling with serious injuries for months before she broke the news of her retirement on her Instagram. “Every day I get questions about if I stopped playing tennis and why and when or if I will be back,” she wrote.

“I want to make it clear that I understand why you want to know and my answer is—I have not played for seven months now because for a few years I’ve been struggling with serious injuries and always had to play with lots of pain,” she added.

Zhuk told her followers she loved tennis but it got to the point where she wanted to be free from pain able to live freely and think about her health and future.

Sofya Zhuk won the Wimbledon girls’ singles title at age 15. She made her debut at the WTA Tour singles a year later at the 2016 Miami Open.

Wimbledon 2013 live stream for Tuesday June 25, 2013. Image Reuters