The Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk caused a stir after her first tournament victory on the WTA tour with a refused handshake. After beating Russia’s Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in the Austin final, she refrained from making the obligatory gesture at the net.
“I would like to dedicate this title to Ukraine and all the people who are fighting and dying at the moment,” said the 20-year-old at the award ceremony to the applause of the spectators: “It’s obviously a very special moment.”
After converting her match point, Kostyuk, who has risen from 52nd to 40th in the world rankings as a result of her success, fell to the ground crying. She had already refused to shake hands with Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka at the US Open last year.
She also openly criticized the father of Grand Slam record winner Novak Djokovic at the Australia Open in January. After his son’s semifinals, Srdjan Djokovic was filmed with fans displaying a Russian flag and pro-Russian symbols.