WATCH: Svitolina & Kasatkina Show Massive Respect Even Without Handshake

WATCH: Svitolina & Kasatkina Show Massive Respect Even Without Handshake

by Evita Mueller

Elina Svitolina and Daria Kasatkina showed respect to each other at the 2023 Roland Garros, even without shaking hands.

In the world of sports, where competitive fervor often overshadows moments of human connection, it's refreshing to see gestures of mutual respect between athletes. At this year's event, fans could see many moments that weren't really nice, and this one was really refreshing.

The fourth-round match was a tense one that saw Ukrainian Elina Svitolina face off against Russian Daria Kasatkina. Svitolina, who was on a comeback trail following her pregnancy, won the match 6-4, 7-6(5) against Kasatkina.

With this victory, Svitolina advanced to the quarterfinals in Paris for the fourth time in her career. Despite her loss, Kasatkina, who was the ninth seed at the tournament, put up a strong fight, forcing a tiebreak in the second set.

However, the narrative that unfolded post-match is the one that has garnered significant attention. Amidst the ongoing war, Kasatkina had been vocal about her stance, which was respected by players all around the WTA Tour, including Ukrainian players.

Considering the tense geopolitical situation, it was expected that Svitolina would not shake Kasatkina's hand, a gesture that carries significant symbolic weight for Ukrainians. In a surprising and touching moment, Kasatkina took the initiative and chose not to put Svitolina in the position of having to refuse a handshake.

Instead, she acknowledged Svitolina with a thumbs-up, to which Svitolina responded similarly. This non-verbal exchange between the two athletes was seen as a sign of respect towards each other's stance and situation.

However, this gesture was not well-received by all, and Kasatkina was booed by some spectators as she left the court. Following the incident, Kasatkina released a statement expressing her disappointment at being booed for showing respect towards her opponent's position. She emphasized that both she and Svitolina had demonstrated mutual respect, and she urged people not to spread hate.


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