Aryna Sabalenka and Marta Kostyuk will be facing each other in the first round at the Roland Garros. This will be their second meeting since the Dubai Championships last year. During her conversation with BTU (Ukrainian Tennis), Kostyuk boldly criticized the Belarussian for continuing her interaction with the Russian media.
The World No.39 had a ‘somewhat’ satisfactory start this year. At the Australian Open, Kostyuk faced a third-round exit at the hands of Jessica Pegula. However, her pairing with Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the doubles category advanced to the semi-finals of the first major. But the duo faced defeat at the hands of Czech players, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
The Ukrainian achieved her first title of the year at the ATX Open after her victorious triumph over Varvara Gracheva. With the start of the clay tours, Kostyuk faced early upsets at both the Madrid and Italian Open.
At the Roland Garros, the 20-year-old has opened her main draw with a first-round meeting with Sabalenka. Looking at their WTA Head2Head, the World No.2 leads the record by 1-0, after her round of 32 victory over Kostyuk at the Dubai Championships.
During her interview with BTU, the World No.39 responded to the statement made by the Belarussian. Kostyuk said that she has ‘no respect’ for the 25-year-old, because of her continuous interaction with Russian media and residence in the aggressor states.
Aryna Sabalenka ‘unfazed’ by the Ukrainian hate towards Russian and Belarussian players
The World No.2 had an incredible start this year. She claimed her maiden Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open. With the start of the clay tours, the Belarussian reached the final of the Stuttgart Open. However, she fell short of the brilliant performance of Iga Swiatek. At Madrid, Sabalenka outperformed the World No.1 to claim her first clay court title of the season. Later, at the Rome Open, the 25-year-old faced a first-round exit at the hands of Sofia Kenin.
While speaking at the media conference, Sabalenka said that she understands the sentiment of the Ukrainian players but would like to keep sports separate from politics. The 25-year-old added that she is okay with the ‘no handshake’ policy and couldn’t change the nationality-based hate directed towards her. “I don’t want to waste my energy on this kind of stuff, you know. This is like, it’s not about—it’s none of my business, you know. So, if she hates me, okay. I can’t do anything about that,” she said.
Sabalenka earlier faced a quarter-finals defeat in the Miami Open, at the hands of Sorana Cirstea.
Tanushree Verma is a Content Creater for Tennis at FirstSportz. Since her first interest in the sport in 2014, she has been religiously following tennis from 2021. The most memorable match she ever watched has to be the 2022 Australian Open final. Apart from watching tennis, she is an avid reader and loves to watch Korean dramas.
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