Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk was condemned after refusing to shake hands with her Belarusian opponent at the Roland Garros tournament in Paris on Sunday.
Tensions over Russia̵7;s invasion of Ukraine took center stage at the International Tennis Championships as Kostyuk faced Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed in the women’s tennis rankings and one of the favorites to win the final, in the first round.
20 year old Kostyuk first criticized the decision for allowing Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutrals after the conflict broke out in Ukraine by tennis officials, and has since refused to shake hands with their Russian and Belarusian opponents.
The Ukrainian tennis player was booed by the crowd in Paris on Sunday after she turned away from Sabalenka at the end of the match.
Sabalenka was cheered on by supporters to bow at the end of the game. The Belarusian player told reporters that she understood her opponents’ decision not to shake hands.
“I think if they’re going to shake hands with Russians and Belarusians, they’re going to get a lot of messages from their home countries,” Sabalenka said after the game,
“If she hates me, fine. There’s nothing I can do about it,” she added.