Elina Svitolina addresses no-handshake message shown during Victoria Azarenka match

The Washington crowd was notified there would be no handshake between Svitolina and Azarenka.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elina Svitolina addresses no-handshake message shown during Victoria Azarenka match

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina felt the Washington organizers and WTA made "the right thing" in announcing there would be no handshake following the conclusion of her match against Belarus' Victoria Azarenka. On Monday night, Svitolina defeated Azarenka 7-6 (2) 6-4 win in the Washington first round.

During the match, it was shown on the screen that there would be no post-match handshake at the net. “At the conclusion of the match, there will be no handshake between the players. We appreciate your respect for both athletes during and following the match, and for your understanding during these difficult circumstances," the message on the screen read.

Svitolina praises the move: It's the right thing

“It’s the right thing. I asked for the WTA to respect the decision of Ukrainians. And they did," Svitolina said after the match. When Svitolina and Azarenka met in the Wimbledon round-of-16 on July 9th, the Belarusian was booed off court by the crowd.

After the match, some wondered if the crowd felt that Azarenka didn't want to shake hands with Svitolina. Then, Svitolina proposed in her press conference to have Wimbledon make a statement that there would be no handshake at the end of matches between Ukrainian and Russian/Belarusian players.

Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton denied that request. “We’ve no intention of doing that. Historically in tennis the decision on how a player reacts at the end of a match is entirely a personal decision for them and I think we don’t really want to start mandating what happens.

We have an incredibly knowledgeable audience at Wimbledon and I think in the most part they would understand what was going on. I wouldn’t want to speculate on what everybody in the crowd was thinking last night," Wimbledon chief executive Bolton said after Svitolina made the request at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile - after losing her first five matches to Azarenka * Svitolina has won the last two meetings against the Belarusian.

Elina Svitolina Victoria Azarenka