Kiev, July 10: Dayana Yastremska apologised after being slammed for posting images of herself in blackface, saying she was "misunderstood".
World number 25 Yastremska was criticised after posting images of herself with one half of her body white and the other half black on Twitter and Instagram.
The 20-year-old's posts came amid anti-racism demonstrations and Black Lives Matter protests around the world following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
After deleting the posts, Yastremska – the Ukrainian who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year – apologised.
"Earlier today I posted pictures that I thought would spread a message of equality. It clearly did not and has been misunderstood," she wrote.
"I have been warned about the negative impact but I did not – and still don't – consider it as a "blackface". I did not intend to caricature but to share my feelings about the current situation: we should all be treated as equal.
"I am so disappointed that my message has been corrupted: these pictures divided people when they were meant to unite. That's why I deleted them.
"I sincerely apologise to all the people I have offended. I truly had only good intentions."