At the WTA tournament in Austin, Marta Kostyuk experienced her first joy of the year. In the US WTA 250 tournament, the Ukrainian won against the Russian Varvera Gracheva: 6-3, 7-5 to obtain the first title of the season and of her career.
A finale which, however, was followed by an equally symbolic episode. As match point came, Kostyuk collapsed to the ground, about to shed tears of joy, then got up and went to shake hands with the chair umpire.
In this interlude, no handshake with the adversary: a gesture conditioned by the geopolitical situation, with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But the situation will not be limited to this, in Austin.
In the photos and videos of the award ceremony, the presence of Gracheva is not noticed, but only that of Kostyuk, his prize and the organizers of the tournament.
This is not the first such episode involving the Ukrainian tennis player.
The same scenario happened in the second round of the US Open, beaten by Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka. A gesture that did not upset the Grand Slam champion in this case: “She did not surprise me, to tell the truth, even if I do not think it is important, it is not worth make a drama out of it.
You have to go on, I can’t force someone to shake my hand, it’s their decision. Did I feel bad? Let’s just say that’s not the most important thing right now.”
Kostyuk dedicates the title to Ukraine.
The victory of his first career title could only be dedicated to his country, Ukraine “Everyone in the stands, everyone watching Ukraine, in the position I’m in today.
It’s very special to win this title. I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine… of course it’s a very special moment,” she said during the award speech, as reported by the WTA website.
A victory also celebrated by his compatriot, Elina Svitolinawho posted the triumph of his colleague on his stories Instagram.