Elina Svitolina refuses another handshake: "I defend my country"

After defeating the Russian Anna Blinkova in three sets, and refusing the handshake with her, Elina Svitolina returned to talking about the war between Russia and Ukraine in front of the media, answering various questions from journalists

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Elina Svitolina refuses another handshake: "I defend my country"

After defeating the Russian Anna Blinkova in three sets, and refusing the handshake with her, Elina Svitolina returned to talking about the war between Russia and Ukraine in front of the media, answering various questions from journalists.

The topic of the war between Russia and Ukraine has become a central theme for the press conferences at the Roland Garros of the athletes from the two countries involved. On Aryna Sabalenka's recent statements she expressed herself as follows: "I haven't really seen anything of her situation, so it's difficult to say anything from me.

It's her choice to do it. It's complicated for me to judge and I literally didn't have time to see what happened. I guess it's none of my business." The 28-year-old, who returned to the WTA Tour after maternity leave, explained why she is not shaking hands with the Russian and Belarusian athletes at the end of the match: "It started with the Ukrainian government, they were against the handshake because they didn't share the same values and of course what they are doing to our country.

That's why, we are Ukrainians, we all unite for one goal, the intent to win this war and we do everything we can. I am defending my country. I am doing everything possible to support, to give a good spirit to the men and women who are right now on the front lines and who are fighting for our land.

Can you imagine the guy or girl who's on the front line right now, looks at me and I act like nothing's going on. I am representing my country. I have a voice. I'm with Ukraine. I stand, I have my position in this war. What the Russian government or Russian soldiers are doing on our land is really, really terrible." The next opponent will be Daria Kasatkina, a Russian who immediately took sides against the war: "I am grateful to Daria for having taken this position.

This is what you expect from others too. That's really brave of her," said Svitolina about the player she will have to face today at the Roland Garros.

Elina Svitolina Anna Blinkova
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