Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk refused to shake palms with her Russian opponent Varvara Gracheva soon after she gained a Women’s Tennis Association event on Sunday.
Kostyuk gain at the ATX Open in excess of the weekend marked her first profession WTA title. Rather of shaking Gracheva’s hand, Kostyuk shook the umpire’s hand at the finish of the match.
“It was just my decision,” Kostyuk mentioned in reference to selection not shake Gracheva’s hand, according to The Mirror. “We had a excellent match, really don’t get me incorrect. She’s a fantastic competitor, I regard her as an athlete, but that has very little to do with her as a human currently being.”
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Kostyuk famous that her acquire on Sunday was dedicated to “all the people who are battling and dying” in the ongoing war among Russia and Ukraine.
“Becoming in the place that I am in proper now, it is very exclusive to acquire this title,” she mentioned. “I want to devote this title to Ukraine and to all the people today who are combating and dying appropriate now.”
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Russian and Belarusian athletes are authorized to engage in on the tour, but they are unable to display screen the flags of either of the international locations. Followers are also limited from exhibiting Russian or Belarusian flags.
Kostyuk has previously been vocal about her inner thoughts about Russian and Belarusian players competing in WTA gatherings.
“Whoever speaks out [regarding the war] obviously I imagine has each and every suitable to be on tour but whoever would not… I will not believe it is really just humane,” she mentioned in January, according to The Mirror. “I really don’t really converse to any person [Russian and Belarusian competitors] I hardly say ‘hi’ to them.”
The Garden Tennis Association All England Club, which hosts the once-a-year Wimbledon Grand Slam, is debating on no matter whether it will permit Russian and Belarusian gamers to participate in this summer’s match.
Very last yr, Russian and Belarusian players were not permitted to participate in in the Grand Slam which resulted in the stripping of rating points from the event and a $1 million good.
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The Australian Open did allow players to compete this calendar year, as long as their flag or nation was not displayed. Kostyuk made it to the third spherical of the Aussie Open ahead of she was sooner or later defeated by Jessica Pegula.