Ukrainian tennis star Marta Kostyuk refuses to shake hands with Russian opponent after ATX Open victory

0 14

Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk refused to shake hands with Russian Varvara Gracheva after winning the ATX Open in Austin, Texas on Sunday. Kostyuk defeated Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 to win her first WTA title.

The 20-year-old Ukrainian shook the match umpire’s hand, but would not shake Gracheva’s hand. Instead, she walked past Gracheva twice.

“It was just my choice,” Kostyuk said of skipping the handshake, according to The Mirror. “We had a good game, don’t get me wrong. She’s a good competitor, I respect her as an athlete, but that has nothing to do with her as a person.”

She dedicated her first career WTA title to “all the people who are fighting and dying” in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“Being in the position I’m in now, it’s really special to win this title,” Kostyuk said. “I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to everyone who is fighting and dying right now.”

According to WTA rules, Russian and Belarusian players are allowed to compete on the tour. However, similar to Grand Slam events over the past year, competitors and fans are not allowed to display the flags of the two countries.

Kostyuk has been questioning whether Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete in WTA events.

“Whoever speaks [regarding the war] “Obviously I believe he has every right to tour but whoever doesn’t… I just don’t think it’s humane,” she said in January, according to The Mirror . [Russian and Belarusian competitors] I barely say ‘hi’ to them.”

The Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club are currently deciding whether to allow Russian and Belarusian players to take part at Wimbledon this summer. In 2022, Russian and Belarusian players were banned from competing at the Grand Slam.

Kostyuk had reached the third round of the 2023 Australian Open before falling to Jessica Pegula.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.