Ukrainian tennis player refuses to shake hands with Russian opponent

A Ukrainian tennis player didn’t shake her Russian opponent’s hand after winning WTA tournament.


Marta Kostyuk, 20, beat Varvara Gracheva in her first WTA singles tournament win on Sunday.

Kostyuk dedicated the win to Ukrainian soldiers “fighting and dying right now” in the war.


Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk snubbed her Russian opponent after winning the ATX Open final in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, refusing to shake competitor Varvara Gracheva’s hand after the game or acknowledge her in the trophy presentation.


Kostyuk, 20, defeated 22-year-old Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in the final, according to results posted on the ATX Open’s website. It’s Kostyuk’s first singles Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour title.

After the win, Kostyuk greeted the cheering crowd. A video posted on Twitter shows Kostyuk walking right past her Russian opponent and avoiding shaking her hand.

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Kostyuk said at January’s Australia Open that she would not shake hands with any Russian or Belarusian opponent, CNN reported.

At the trophy presentation on Sunday, Kostyuk refused to acknowledge Gracheva and instead dedicated her win to Ukraine and its soldiers.


“Being in the position that I am in right now, it’s extremely special to win this title. And I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all the people who are fighting and dying right now,” Kostyuk said.

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According to CNN, this is the first WTA tournament win for a Ukrainian woman since Elina Svitolina in 2021. Kostyuk’s win pushed her to No. 40 in the WTA singles rankings. A previous win in WTA doubles at the 2022 Slovenia Open elevated her to No. 31 in doubles.

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