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    30 May 2023

    Controversy at French Open 2023 as Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk snubs Aryna Sabalenka handshake, leading to boos from the crowd.

    Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk Booed Off Court After French Open Defeat

    In a controversial turn of events at the 2023 French Open, Ukraine’s rising tennis star, Marta Kostyuk, was booed off court by the spectators following her first-round loss to Aryna Sabalenka. The match ended with a scoreline of 6-3 and 6-2 in favour of second seed Sabalenka.

    Kostyuk Avoids Shaking Hands With Sabalenka

    The post-match exchange between the two players was tense as Kostyuk avoided shaking hands with Sabalenka, who is from Belarus – an ally of Russia that allowed troops to use its territory for launching last year’s invasion of Ukraine.

    This sparked outrage among the crowd at Court Philippe-Chatrier who proceeded to boo Kostyuk off court. However, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka condemned the unsporting behaviour shown towards her opponent stating “she didn’t deserve to leave the court that way.”

    Sabalenka Responds & Explains War Situation:

    Sabalenka responded by saying how tough emotionally it was for both players and explained that she initially thought it was directed towards her before realizing they were aimed at Kostyuk when she left straight after shaking hands with umpire rather than waiting for customary photo with opponent before leaving immediately. Before this situation happened Aryna said how much she understood if opponents hate her due Belarus being a Russian ally and the support of the Putin regime in Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia. Sabalenka has repeatedly made it clear that no-one supports war, but Kostyuk criticized her for not directly opposing the war.

    Kostyuk Criticizes Sabalenka

    Kostyuk strongly condemned Sabalenka for refusing to take responsibility by rejecting any opposition towards supporting the on-going war between their home countries. She called on Aryna to use her “big platform” and speak out against this situation even more stating:

    “She never says that she personally doesn’t support this war,” Kostyuk said.
    “She should talk for herself I think, first of all. Then, talk about all the other athletes because I personally know athletes from tennis that support the war.”

    Sabalenka Advances To Second Round

    Sabalenka advanced to play fellow Belarusian qualifier Iryna Shymanovich in round two at Roland Garros where she is currently one of the favourites to win.

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