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“I was not expecting this”. Ukrainian fans booed Kostyuk at Roland Garros

Date: October 4, 2023 Time: 17:12:32

“I was not expecting this”. Ukrainian fans booed Kostyuk at Roland Garros

Daniil Salnikov May 28, 2023, 19:25 Moscow time

Even Arina Sobolenko thought that the whistle was directed at her.

On the opening day of Roland Garros, the match between the Australian Open champion Arina Sobolenko, seeded with the second number, and the Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk took place. The Belarusian went to the second round without problems, beating her opponent-6: 3, 6: 2. And after the match, a scandal broke out, which is not directly related to tennis.

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As soon as the last hit of the match was taken, as traditionally the tennis players went to the referees’ tower to greet the referee. But there was no handshake between the tennis players. By the time Sobolenko approached the net, Kostyuk had already moved away from the referee to his bench. After that, there was a loud whistle from the French public. It is curious that Arina at first thought that the audience was not happy with her. She then made a wry curtsy towards the stands.

Arina Sobolenko’s bow to the audience.

Photo: transmission frame

When Sobolenko realized that she was not being booed, but her opponent, she found the right words for the fans: “It was a very difficult match, I mean emotionally. Sorry guys, I didn’t understand at first, I thought this “boo” was directed at me and I was a bit surprised. But then I felt the support from her, so thank you very much. This is really important,” Sobolenko said in an on-court interview. Everything that happened, of course, is not an accident. Ukrainian tennis players have refused to shake hands with their Belarusian and Russian rivals for more than a year. Sobolenko was ready for such a situation and in an interview before the tournament she said: “I don’t want to waste my energy on such things. I mean, it’s none of my business. If she hates me, she’s fine, there’s nothing she can do about it. There will be people who love me, there will be people who hate me. If she hates me, fine. I don’t feel the same way about her.”

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As for Marta Kostyuk, apparently, she was disappointed with the behavior of the public: “I did not expect this. I don’t know how to react, but people must have been confused. I want to see how people will react to this ten years from now, when what is happening in Ukraine ends. I don’t think they are happy with what they have done. I said in advance that I would not shake hands with Russian and Belarusian athletes. I don’t know why everyone suddenly decided that I would suddenly change my mind. Arina never says that she personally does not support what is happening in Ukraine, and I think that journalists should ask her a direct question. I think you should ask both the Belarusian and Russian players who they would like to see win in this situation. I’m not sure what they will call Ukraine,” Marta said at a press conference.

Sobolenko, in his interview, tried to reject all the accusations against him by the Ukrainian: “First of all, when they ask me about the Ukrainians, they always ask me a question from the category: do you know that they hate you? And they do not specify if it is personal or political. As for the situation in Ukraine, I have said it many, many times: no one in this world, neither Russian nor Belarusian athletes, supports what is happening. Nobody. How can we support you? Normal people would never do this. Why do we have to scream about it? It’s like 1+1. If we could do something, we would. But unfortunately, it is not in our power.

In the second round of Roland Garros, on Wednesday May 31, Arina Sobolenko will face her compatriot Irina Shimanovich.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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