It was the most awaited match of the day to understand above all what would happen beyond the result on the court: Aryna Sabalenka and Marta Kostyuk immediately unleashed and divided social media even before the start of the match on Philippe-Chatrier, at the Roland Garros 2023.
In fact, the two did not take the usual and traditional photo after the coin toss to understand who was starting to serve, heading to the baseline to start the warm-up phase. At the end of the draw, the Belarusian remained petrified before looking back and thinking about the warm up.
There was no lack of controversy on the web after this episode: here is the video released on Twitter which documents what happened before the official start of the confrontation.
No pre-match photo for Aryna Sabalenka & Marta Kostyuk
Roland Garros really isn't wasting any time.
They really scheduled the most interesting match first up on Philippe-Chatrier 🍿 pic.twitter.com/jVXAUUWv0L — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 28, 2023
Kostyuk against Sabalenka
An action of this type was expected, given the declarations made on the eve and in recent months between the two due to the war in Ukraine.
In all likelihood, the Ukrainian tennis player, at the end of the match whatever the score accrued on the court, will approach the net to shake hands only with the chair umpire, as she has practically done for a year or so.
Kostyuk recently said: "I have no respect for her who keeps going to Russia, speaking to the Russian press, not taking her family out of aggressor states despite her financial means." Aryna's response was pretty straightforward: "Does Kostyuk hate me? I don't want to waste my energy thinking about this kind of thing.
If she wants to hate me, that's fine. I can not do anything about it. If I could, I would stop the war. I can understand the fact that they don't want to shake hands with Russians and Belarusians, they might get so many negative messages from their country. At the same time, however, I think sport shouldn't be tied to politics
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