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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus booed at Wimbledon after loss to Elena Svitolina of Ukraine

by Andrew Wright
6 comments
post-match handshakes

Belarusian Tennis Player Victoria Azarenka Faces Boos at Wimbledon Following Loss to Ukraine’s Elena Svitolina

Victoria Azarenka expressed her disappointment at being booed by the crowd at Wimbledon after her defeat to Ukrainian competitor Elina Svitolina on Sunday.

Azarenka, hailing from Belarus, had just lost a tight third-set tiebreaker and, aware that Svitolina refrains from shaking hands with Russian and Belarusian players as a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she went directly to the umpire to offer her handshake.

The two-time Grand Slam champion also gave a subtle wave to Svitolina, who triumphed with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9) victory.

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As Azarenka gathered her belongings and left No. 1 Court, where the spectators had been supporting Svitolina, boos echoed throughout the stands.

“I cannot control the crowd. I’m not sure if many people understood what was happening,” Azarenka remarked, suggesting that the audience may have been under the influence of alcohol. “It wasn’t fair. It is what it is. What can I do?”

It remains unclear whether the fans believed Azarenka had snubbed Svitolina, but the Belarusian shook her head as she exited the court and clenched her hands together above her head.

At the French Open, the situation was reversed for Ukrainian players. Marta Kostyuk faced boos when she didn’t shake hands with Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka at the net. Svitolina also stated that she was booed in Paris.

“I personally believe that the tennis organizations should issue a statement clarifying that there will be no handshake between Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian players,” Svitolina expressed. “Some people might not fully understand the situation. So, I think this is the appropriate course of action.”

The 33-year-old Azarenka, who relocated to the United States from Belarus as a teenager, mentioned having always maintained a good relationship with Svitolina.

“But what can I say about the crowd? There’s nothing to say,” Azarenka responded. “She doesn’t want to shake hands with Russian and Belarusian individuals. I respected her decision. What else could I have done? Should I have stayed and waited? I mean, there was no right action for me to take, so I simply did what I thought was respectful given her decision.”


AP tennis: Visit https://bigbignews.net/tennis or follow https://twitter.com/AP_Sports for more updates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about post-match handshakes

Why was Victoria Azarenka booed at Wimbledon after her loss to Elena Svitolina?

Victoria Azarenka was booed at Wimbledon after her loss to Elena Svitolina because she walked directly to the umpire to shake hands instead of approaching Svitolina, who does not shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Did fans think that Azarenka snubbed Svitolina?

It is unclear if fans thought Azarenka snubbed Svitolina. However, Azarenka shook her head and expressed frustration as she walked off the court, suggesting that she felt misunderstood.

Were there similar incidents involving Ukrainian players at the French Open?

Yes, there were similar incidents involving Ukrainian players at the French Open. Marta Kostyuk faced boos when she didn’t shake hands with Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka, and Svitolina herself mentioned being booed in Paris.

What is Svitolina’s stance on handshakes with Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian players?

Svitolina does not shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players as a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She believes that tennis organizations should issue a statement clarifying that there will be no handshake between players from these countries.

How did Azarenka respond to the crowd’s reaction?

Azarenka expressed her disappointment and mentioned that she respected Svitolina’s decision not to shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players. She felt there was no right action for her to take and did what she thought was respectful given Svitolina’s stance.

More about post-match handshakes

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6 comments

tennisaddict87 July 10, 2023 - 10:07 am

these post-match handshakes are causing so much drama. maybe the tennis orgs should make a statement about it. keep the peace, guys!

Reply
newsjunkie22 July 10, 2023 - 10:49 am

it’s sad that sportsmanship is getting lost in all this. let’s focus on the game, people, and leave the politics aside.

Reply
sportsfan23 July 10, 2023 - 2:41 pm

these controversies just distract from the amazing tennis being played. can’t we all just enjoy the sport without all this drama?

Reply
sportslover99 July 10, 2023 - 3:15 pm

i don’t blame elena svitolina for not shaking hands with russia and belarus, but come on, it’s just a handshake. why boo azarenka? not cool.

Reply
tennisfan23 July 10, 2023 - 10:09 pm

wow victoria azarenka got booed! Not fair! she was just tryin to be respectful and shake hands with the umpire, but ppl didn’t get it. smh.

Reply
tennisfanatic55 July 10, 2023 - 10:27 pm

azarenka handled it with grace. she respected svitolina’s decision and did what she thought was right. gotta give her credit for that.

Reply

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