The Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk (39th WTA) starred in a controversial moment this Sunday at Roland Garros by refusing to greet her winner, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (2nd).
The high point was lived in one of the central courts of the French Grand Slam, where the Parisian public did not hide their dissatisfaction with the gesture and booed the defeated.
After falling 6-3 and 6-2, Kostyuk decided not to have any sporting gestures with Sabalenka and boos were heard from the public.
At first, the Belarusian did not understand what was happening and bowed to the public, thinking that the public was unhappy with her victory. After exchanging a few words with his 'box', which clarified what happened, he thanked the support.
"Sorry, at first I thought the anger was against me. I was a little surprised but then I felt your support, so thank you very much, it's very important. It was a very tough match on an emotional level," said the Belarusian with the victory already consummated.
At a press conference Kostyuk, originally from Kiev, was very critical of the position of the tennis world regarding the war; And she dedicated a few words to the spectators who booed her after making her post-match decision.
"I want to see the reaction of these people in 10 years, when the war is over. I think they won't be satisfied with themselves when they think back to what they did," he said angrily.
No greeting with his victor. The Ukrainian who lost at Roland Garros was booed from the central court. Photo: EFE
"I had already said I wouldn't shake his hand and I don't know why people thought I was going to change their minds," he continued. He added: "I never said publicly or privately that I hate Sabalenka. I just don't respect their position in this situation."
In the last US Open, the 20-year-old Ukrainian tennis player had already refused to greet the former world number 1, the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, after the clash between the two, putting the racket when her rival offered her hand.
In the subsequent press conference, the winner Sabalenka explained more calmly what happened after the match: "We know that the Ukrainians do not want to shake our hands, but the public was a surprise. They perceived it as disrespectful. I'm so sorry this happened," he admitted.
"I have said it several times, neither Belarusian nor Russian sportsmen support war. How can war be supported? Absolutely not. If we could put an end to it, we would do it immediately," he added.
With information from AFP