No handshake at net, no combined trophy photoshoot after Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk downs Russian…
Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk won her maiden singles title at the ATX Open in Austin by beating Russia’s Varvara Gracheva in a final that did not include a post-match handshake.Kostyuk, who was seeded eighth in the tournament, reached the title clash with wins over Dalma Galfi, Madison Brengle, Anna-Lena Friedsam and Danielle Collins. She beat Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 32 minutes.
Kostyuk dropped to her knees after winning the match. As the 20-year-old walked towards the net, she gestured towards Gracheva, implying there would be no post-match handshake. Kostyuk did shake the chair umpire’s hand before acknowledging the crowd. There was also a separate photoshoot for the players after the match.
Kostyuk opting not to shake Gracheva’s hand is not surprising, considering the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. This isn’t the first time either that the Ukrainian hasn’t shaken a Russian or Belarusian opponent’s hand. Last season, she snubbed a handshake from Victoria Azarenka after their second-round match at the US Open. Both players eventually ended up tapping their rackets at the net.Marta Kostyuk has been extremely vocal regarding the war in Ukraine and said earlier this year that she would continue not shaking hands with Russian and Belarusian players
“Very Surreal” – Marta Kostyuk on winning the ATX Open
Marta Kostyuk was delighted to win her maiden WTA singles title and said after the final that the feeling was “very surreal.” The 20-year-old also stated that she was happy to be in good health and to see the crowd enjoy her play.
“Very surreal,” Kostyuk said. “I was just playing match by match, and I think this is how you win tournaments, I guess! It’s not so easy to talk right now, but obviously I’m extremely happy. I’m just happy to be healthy and happy to play tennis and see the crowd enjoy my game.”
Marta Kostyuk’s exploits in Austin will see her rise to a career-high 40th in the WTA rankings. The 20-year-old has won 11 out of 15 main-draw matches so far this season, previously reaching the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 and the third round of the Australian Open.Kostyuk is next scheduled to compete at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which is the second WTA 1000 event of the 2023 season
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