Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk was booed after refusing to shake palms with Aryna Sabalenka following defeat within the French Open first spherical to the Belarusian.
It was a dominant win for the world No 2 to start her Roland Garros marketing campaign, which might see her change into world primary, but it surely got here in opposition to a participant who “hates” her.
Kostyuk has been essentially the most outspoken Ukrainian participant in regards to the sport’s response to the invasion of her dwelling nation by Russia and believes Russian and Belarusian gamers ought to have been prepared to sentence their nations’ actions.
She refuses to shake palms with gamers from the 2 international locations on the finish of matches, and it was no totally different in opposition to Sabalenka, who raced to a 6-3, 6-2 victory in an hour and 11 minutes.
Kostyuk marched to the web after the ultimate level, shaking palms with the umpire earlier than grabbing her luggage to return to the altering rooms.
And the transfer prompted booing and whistling from the Roland Garros crowd, whereas Kostyuk shook her finger on the crowd on her approach off court docket following a hostile reception for her determination.
Sabalenka appeared uncertain whether or not the gesture was directed at her, however the followers then cheered for her earlier than jeering Kostyuk when she walked off.
Sabalenka mentioned after the match: “It was a very tough match, tough emotionally. I didn’t know if the booing was against me but thank you so much for your support, it’s really important.”
While the Belarusian had accepted Kostyuk’s determination forward of the match too.
“I kind of can understand them,” Sabalenka mentioned forward of the match when quizzed on Ukrainian gamers refusing to shake palms with Russian and Belarusian gamers. “I imagine (if) they’re going to shake hands with Russians and Belarusians then they’re going to get so many messages from their home country. At the same time, I feel like sports shouldn’t be in politics.
“We’re just athletes. If they feel good with no shaking hands, I’m happy with that.
“I don’t want to waste my energy on this kind of stuff. It’s none of my business. So, if she hates me, OK. I can’t do anything about that.
“There is going to be people who love me, there is going to be people who hate me. If she hates me, I don’t feel anything like that to her.”