The French Open crowd booedMarta Kostyuk off the court following the Ukrainian's refusal to shake hands with Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka, seeded at No 2, saw off Kostyuk 6-3 6-2 in the French Open first round.
As expected, Kostyuk didn't shake Sabalenka's hand after the match. The French Open crowd didn't appreciate it as they immediately started booing Kostyuk. As Kostyuk was exiting the court, the French Open crowd had more boos for Kostyuk.
Aryna Sabalenka taking a bow.
Marta Kostyuk is being booed after the match for not shaking hands.
There’s a lot happening at Roland Garros right now. pic.twitter.com/TWHdQhB4Ue — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 28, 2023
Sabalenka thought she was being booed, not Kostyuk
When the crowd delivered the first boos, Sabalenka looked stunned as she thought she was the one receiving boos.
But moments later, Sabalenka realized that it was Kostyuk who was on the receiving end of criticism. "I thought the boos were against me so I felt a bit surprised. But then I felt your support," Sabalenka told the crowd in her on-court interview.
In her press conference, Sabalenka confirmed she initially thought she was being booed. "I didn’t understand what happened at the end. I thought the public was booing me but in fact they were booing Marta for not shaking my hand," Sabalenka said in her press conference.
Even though Sabalenka was grateful to the French Open crowd for supporting her, she still said that Kostyuk didn't deserve the boos.
Aryna Sabalenka : « I didn’t understand what happened at the end. I thought the public was booing me but in fact they were booing Marta for not shaking my hand. » #RolandGarros2023 — Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) May 28, 2023
"Marta didn’t deserve to be booed at the end of the match," Sabalenka said.
After Sabalenka drew Kostyuk in the first round, everyone knew what was about to happen.
In her pre-tournament press conference, Sabalenka said there was nothing she could change if Kostyuk hates her. "If she hates me, OK. I can't do anything about that. There are going to be people who love me; there are going to be people who hate me.
If she hates me, I don't feel anything like that to her," Sabalenka said before facing Kostyuk in her Roland Garros opener.
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