It was known that there would be no handshake between Kostyuk and Sabalenka, the Ukrainian had warned that she would ignore the Belarusian. The Roland-Garros crowd was still surprised and a game whistled the native of Kiev when she left the court. Aryna Sabalenka appeared to protest. But nothing helped. Kostyuk simply greeted the referee, retrieved her bag and left the center after her defeat (6-3, 6-2) in the first round of the French Grand Slam.
🎾 #RolandGarros | ✅ It goes for Aryna Sabalenka 🇧🇾 facing Marta Kostyuk 🇺🇦!
❌ As against Russia's Anastasia Potapova last March, the Ukrainian refuses to shake hands with her opponent.
▶️ Follow the live: https://t.co/XXBXdgXfGf pic.twitter.com/pez1rcUrRF
— francetvsport (@francetvsport) May 28, 2023
Like her compatriot, Anhelina Kalinina, after her match in Rome against Russian Veronika Kudermetova, last week, she made the choice to snub the Russian and Belarusian nationals she will face because of the war waged by these two countries against hers. Kostyuk still has a lot of family in the country, which is enough to feed her concern: "Everyone is in Kiev, not in the most dangerous areas in the east," she said. But anything can happen to anyone. If you are killed by rocket fire, it is your destiny."
Sabalenka initially believed that the whistles of the public were intended for him, before realizing that they were for his opponent. The tournament's No. 2 seed reacted to the announcement of his opponent's decision before the match: "I understand. If she hates me, there's nothing I can do about it. I don't feel anything of that nature. To which Kostyuk replied: "When the war is over, they will try to make excuses: "We're sorry, we couldn't talk, it was too dangerous." But ask them, "Do you want Ukraine to win the war?" How many will say yes? So nobody wants war, but nobody wants Russia and Belarus to lose it. »
Sabalenka will face either compatriot Shymanovich or Hungary's Udvardy in the second round.