The Ukraine women’s tennis player Marta Kostyuk refused to shake hands with Belarusian professional tennis player Aryna Sabalenka after losing the French Open (Roland Garros) first round in a straight set by 3-6, 2-6 because of the war conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.
The crowd in the Philippe-Chatrier court started booing when Marta Kostyuk did not shake hands with Aryna Sablenka, but it was not a surprise by Sablenka because she knew the reason why she was not doing that and was not offended by it.
Kostyuk already mentioned before playing in the French Open that she would not be going to shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players because of the invasion Russia did in Ukraine.
“I understand why they’re not shaking hands with us. I can imagine if they shake hands with us, what’s going to happen to them from the Ukrainian side. I understand that this isn’t personal. that’s it” “I think she didn’t deserve to leave the court that way” “Yea, I coundn’t understand what’s going on. Because we all know Ukrainian girls will not shake hands with us, so it’s not a surpise for us, but probably the public today was surprised”
”They saw it as disrespect me as player, so that’s why there was booing her. At firtst i thought they were booing me. I was a little confused, and was, like ok, what should i do? I spoke to my team, make sure i understand it right.Aryna Sabalenka said in the post match interview
Sabalenka also said that no one supports war and that every fan should understand the situation well rather than booing people who are not included in the war or the politics which is going on right now between Russia and Ukraine.
The Belarusian player is currently ranked 2nd in the WTA ranking, and the next is against her countrymate Iryna Shymanovich who won her first-round match against the Hungarian professional tennis player Panna Udvardy in a tough, which ended in Shymanovich’s side by 7-6, 3-6, 1-6.
Sabalenka will be the favorite to win the second-round match against her country teammate in the French Open 2023.