Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk refused to shake arms with Varvara Gracheva, a Russian, after she gained the ATX Open in Austin, Texas on Sunday. Kostyuk beat Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 to clinch her first profession WTA title.
The 20-year-old Ukrainian ended up shaking the hand of the match umpire, however would not shake the hand of Gracheva. Instead, she merely walked previous Gracheva on two events.
“It was simply my selection,” Kostyuk stated of skipping the handshake, in keeping with The Mirror. “We had an important match, do not get me mistaken. She’s an important competitor, I respect her as an athlete, however that has nothing to do together with her as a human being.”
She devoted her first profession WTA title to “all of the people who find themselves combating and dying” within the battle between Russia and Ukraine.
“Being within the place that I’m in proper now, it is extraordinarily particular to win this title,” Kostyuk stated. “I wish to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all of the people who find themselves combating and dying proper now.”
According to WTA guidelines, Russian and Belarusian gamers are permitted to compete on the tour. However, very like at Grand Slam occasions over the previous yr, flags of the 2 nations aren’t allowed to be displayed by rivals and followers alike.
Kostyuk has been outspoken concerning Russian and Belarusian gamers being permitted to compete in WTA occasions.
“Whoever speaks out [regarding the war] clearly I imagine has each proper to be on tour however whoever would not… I do not suppose it is simply humane,” she stated in January, in keeping with The Mirror. “I do not actually discuss to anybody [Russian and Belarusian competitors] I barely say ‘hello’ to them.”
The Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club are at present deciding whether or not or to not permit Russian and Belarusian gamers to take part at Wimbledon this summer season. In 2022, Russian and Belarusian gamers have been banned from competing on the Grand Slam.
Kostyuk had reached the third spherical of the 2023 Australian Open earlier than falling to Jessica Pegula.
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