Beyond Booing: Kasatkina Speaks Out Against Fan Hate After No Handshake with Svitolina

Beyond Booing: Kasatkina Speaks Out Against Fan Hate After No Handshake with Svitolina

by Alfredo Bassanelli

Last updated

Daria Kasatkina and Elina Svitolina embraced in a touching moment after their match at the 2023 Roland Garros, but it wasn't appreciated.

The nature of the match was, as many at this year's event, a tense one as the Russian Daria Kasatkina played against the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. But this time, it was much different, and it was all because of the Russian player.

Multiple times, Kasatkina spoke against the ongoing war and her words are respected by players all around the WTA Tour, especially Ukrainian players. Yet, it was still expected that Svitolina won't shake her opponent's hand, just because she simply can't.

Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus talked about it when she faced Marta Kostyuk, acknowledging that if a Ukrainian would shake her hand, they would probably receive backlash from people in their country.

It's a symbol that means a lot to Ukrainians, and even Svitolina explained why she doesn't do it. Therefore, once the Ukrainian defeated the ninth seed at the Roland Garros, many wanted to see what will happen at the net.

And the moment was really surprising but also touching. Kasatkina took all the responsibility on her own shoulders, she didn't let Svitolina be the one who will have to make the decision, knowing she won't shake hands.

The Russian acknowledged her opponent, showing her thumbs up, and Svitolina, really happy about her gesture, did a similar thing, even addressing some words to her fourth-round opponent. But fans didn't appreciate that.

When Kasatkina was leaving the court, some people were booing her, something no player wants to experience after a difficult loss and leaving the tennis court of a Grand Slam tournament. Because of that, she has decided to release a statement afterward.

"Leaving Paris with a very bitter feeling. All this days, after every match I’ve played in Paris I always appreciate and thanked crowd for support and being there for the players. But yesterday I was booed for just being respectful on my opponents position not to shake hands."

Kasatkina was sad that she was booed because of respecting her opponent's position, and she also emphasized that the two showed respect to each other. Moreover, the Russian asked people not to spread hate and asked them to try and make this world better.

"Me and Elina showed respect to each other after a tough match but leaving the court like that was the worse part of yesterday. Be better, love each other. Don’t spread hate. Try to make this world better. I will love RG no matter what, always and forever. See u next year."

Even Svitolina talked about her opponent after the match, and it was obvious that her narrative was different from that of other players from Russia and Belarus. She praised Kasatkina, showed her respect, and called her brave.

"Yeah, definitely I acknowledged the match today. Really thankful for her position that she took. Yeah, she's really brave person to say it publicly, that not so many players did. She's a brave one."


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