The two players come from countries that are in conflict right now, even though not directly. Along with Russian athletes, Belarusian players were also unable to compete in some WTA events, but that is a thing of the past now.
But there still seem to be some tensions among players competing on the WTA Tour. In the past, Kostyuk has been outspoken about her views on her opponents from Russia and Belarus, and even once said that thoughts of harming people from those countries crossed her mind.
The Ukrainian also refused to shake hands with her opponents from those countries, and another meeting like that will come at the Roland Garros as Kostyuk is set to meet Sabalenka, who only recently spoke about feeling that people from Ukraine still hate her.
Now, she will face another player that probably won't shake her hand after the match and so Sabalenka was asked about the upcoming first-round clash at the 2023 Roland Garros in a pre-tournament press conference.
"I don't want to waste my energy on this kind of stuff, you know. This is like, it's not about -- it's none of my business, you know. So if she hate me, okay. I can't do anything about that."
Sabalenka is aware that not only among her opponents, but also among other people, there are going to be some that love her and some that hate her. She said that she doesn't have any feelings of hate toward her opponent and that's the mindset that she will carry into the first-round match in Paris.
"There is going to be people who loves me; there is going to be people who hates me. If she hates me, I don't feel anything like that to her."