Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk refused to shake fingers together with her Russian opponent Varvara Gracheva after she received a Women’s Tennis Association event on Sunday.
Kostyuk win on the ATX Open over the weekend marked her first profession WTA title. Instead of shaking Gracheva’s hand, Kostyuk shook the umpire’s hand on the finish of the match.
“It was simply my selection,” Kostyuk stated in reference to choice not shake Gracheva’s hand, in response to The Mirror. “We had a terrific match, do not get me flawed. She’s a terrific competitor, I respect her as an athlete, however that has nothing to do together with her as a human being.”
Kostyuk famous that her win on Sunday was devoted to “all of the people who find themselves combating and dying” within the ongoing warfare between Russia and Ukraine.
“Being within the place that I’m in proper now, it is extraordinarily particular to win this title,” she stated. “I need to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all of the people who find themselves combating and dying proper now.”
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Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to play on the tour, however they can not show the flags of both of the international locations. Fans are additionally restricted from displaying Russian or Belarusian flags.
Kostyuk has beforehand been vocal about her emotions about Russian and Belarusian gamers competing in WTA occasions.
“Whoever speaks out [regarding the war] clearly I consider has each proper to be on tour however whoever would not… I do not suppose it is simply humane,” she stated in January, in response to The Mirror. “I do not actually speak to anybody [Russian and Belarusian competitors] I barely say ‘hello’ to them.”
The Lawn Tennis Association All England Club, which hosts the annual Wimbledon Grand Slam, is debating on whether or not it is going to allow Russian and Belarusian gamers to take part on this summer season’s event.
Last yr, Russian and Belarusian gamers weren’t allowed to play within the Grand Slam which resulted within the stripping of rating factors from the event and a $1 million nice.
The Australian Open did enable gamers to compete this yr, so long as their flag or nation was not displayed. Kostyuk made it to the third spherical of the Aussie Open earlier than she was finally defeated by Jessica Pegula.
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