WATCH: No Handshake Between Svitolina & Sabalenka Booed By Roland Garros Crowd

WATCH: No Handshake Between Svitolina & Sabalenka Booed By Roland Garros Crowd

by Sebastian Dahlman

Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina met in a spectacular quarterfinal match at the 2023 Roland Garros and it ended as expected.

That was because of two reasons. The first was that the second-seeded Belarusian won the match in two sets, and the other was because there was no handshake between the two players after the match ended on the Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Sabalenka experienced the same thing in the first-round match against Marta Kostyuk, as the Ukrainian was then booed by the French crowd. Despite supporting Svitolina during the whole match, the crowd at Roland Garros booed also her after not shaking hands with the Belarusian.

However, arguably, Sabalenka possibly made the situation even worse and more visible. In Svitolina's previous match against Daria Kasatkina, the Russian knew that there won't be any handshake and so she didn't even try to initiate it.

Although Kasatkina was also booed and then disappointed, Svitolina thanked her for her actions and her comments afterward, calling her brave. However, she couldn't say the same thing about Sabalenka, as the Ukrainian thought it was clear that there wouldn't be any handshake.

"I don't know, to be fair, what she was waiting, because my statements were clear enough about the handshake. Secondly, no, it was quite expected. I was expecting that. Whoever in this situation loses, I guess, gets booed, so I was expecting that. It was not a surprise for me."

When Svitolina saw the Belarusian standing at the net and waiting for a handshake, she was clearly surprised and she admitted it also after the match.

"My initial reaction, don't know, was like, what are you doing (smiling)? Because, yeah, all my press conference I say my clear position. So I don't know. Maybe she's not on social media during the tournaments, but it is pretty clear. I made multiple statements that I'm not shaking hands, and she played obviously Marta as well the first round. So is quite simple, you know."


You may also like