Marta Kostyuk will be facing Belarussian player Aryna Sabalenka in the first round of the Roland Garros. This will be their second WTA head-to-head after their first meeting at the 2022 Dubai Championships. Recently, a video of the Ukrainian player practicing with Dominic Thiem surfaced on the internet.
The Ukrainian player delivered a quite satisfactory performance 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 major.
But their partnership lost the match to the Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. Kostyuk achieved her first title of the year at the ATX Open after her victorious triumph over Varvara Grecheva. With the start of the clay tours, the World No. 39 faced early upsets at both the Madrid and Italian Open.
At this year’s French Open, the Ukrainian player has opened her draw with a first-round clash with Sabalenka. In their first meeting at the Dubai Championships, the World No. 1 leads the record by 1-0 as she defeated Kostyuk in straight sets.
Their meeting will be controversial, as their nations are at war with each other. Kostyuk had earlier refused to shake hands with the Russian and Belarusian players. She has been quite vocal about her stand and has criticized her colleagues for not speaking up against the war. In a recent video on Twitter, the 20-year-old was seen practicing with Dominic Thiem ahead of the championship.
Kostyuk’s partnership with Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the doubles category reached the semi-finals of the Madrid Open. However, they were defeated in straight sets by the ‘dynamic duo’ of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula.
Also read: Boris Becker believes ‘weather’ will play a vital role in Novak Djokovic’s chances at the French Open
Aryna Sabalenka named the most hated female tennis player according to reports
Aryna Sabalenka has achieved great success this year. The World No. 2 defeated Elena Rybakina to win her first maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open. She started her clay campaign by booking her final spot at the Stuttgart Open. However, she faced defeat at the hands of Iga Swiatek. In the Madrid Open, Sabalenka claimed her season’s first clay title after her victorious triumph over the World No. 1.
The Belarussian player holds a career record of one single major, two doubles majors, and a total of 19 WTA titles. In spite of her numerous accolades, Sabalenka has been named the most hated female tennis player. The World Sports Network (WSN) conducted research to determine the amount of negative sentiment directed toward the players.
According to their report, the 25-year-old has received the most negative feedback, with fifteen percent on Twitter and five percent of angry reactions on Facebook. At the second and third spots are Elena Rybakina and Caroline Garcia, respectively, with a negative reaction of ten percent. The World No. 1, Iga Swiatek, has been placed in the fourth spot with seven percent, followed by Coco Gauff at five percent.
In response to the online abuse, the French Open organizers will be providing the players with an AI moderator for their social media accounts. This will protect the players from racism, hate speech, and online bullying, as the comments will be filtered in real-time.
In case you missed it: