Ukrainian World No.38 Marta Kostyuk is ready for the social media attack following her defeat to Russian World No.26 Anastasia Potapova and refusing a handshake. She said this at a press conference in Miami. It was during the second round of the Miami Masters that Kostyuk lost to the Russian1-6, 3-6. Kostyuk cited the tensions around the Russia-Ukraine and Potapova’s action of bringing the Russian club Spartak Moscow jersey at the Indian Wells Masters as the reason.
As Kostyuk said, “There are a lot of things that I don’t agree with that the WTA is doing. This is not going to change anything. I’ll just get more hate online. Whatever I say, I will get a lot of hate. I don’t know. You [can] give her a warning. You can suspend someone, I don’t know. I can’t comment on that really, it’s just funny.”
Kostyuk had been very vocal recently against Russian players amidst the tension and war happening in Ukraine, her country. As a result, she started refusing to shake hands with all the Russian and Belarusian tennis players.
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There are tensions all around the WTA due to the war
Just a few days after Iga Swiatek asked WTA to condemn Russian World No.28 Anastasia Potapova for appearing in the Spartak Moscow Jersey, Russian tennis federation chief Shamil Tarpischev took a dig at Polish World No.1 Iga Swiatek for criticizing the same. He said, “I haven’t heard that you can’t go out in club shirts. It’s not a coat of arms or a flag.”
The Polish World No.1 has been playing with a blue and yellow ribbon in her cap ever since the Russian war in honor of the Ukrainian people. Her statements condemning WTA for not taking strict actions in support of the Ukrainian players were a reflection of it. Swiatek also admitted that the atmosphere around the WTA locker room is not so good with the talks of the Russia- Ukraine war in the air.
Ukrainian World No.95 Lesia Tsurenko also slammed Russian World No.28 Anastasia Potapova for appearing in her Indian Wells third-round match against Jessica Pegula with a Spartak Moscow jersey. Tsurenko had earlier withdrawn from her third-round match against the eventual finalist of the tournament(finals to be played against Kazhak World No.10 Elena Rybakina) – Russian World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka citing a panic attack as the reason due to the war stress.
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