Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk has criticized the WTA for ignoring a request to meet with players from her country, currently at war, on Thursday March 23, after her defeat at the Miami tournament against Russian Anastasia Potapova, which she refused to shake hands.
“We wanted a meeting with the board of directors (of the circuit) and we didn’t get it. No response, nothing, just silence,” Kostyuk lamented to the media. Asked by AFP, the WTA did not wish to react.
Last week, her compatriot Lesia Tsurenko said that several Ukrainian players had made this request. She forfeited just before facing Belarusian Aryna Sabelenka at the Indian Wells tournament, explaining afterwards that she had suffered a “panic attack” following a conversation with the WTA boss on the consequences of the Russian invasion of his country.
Kostyuk (38th in the world) refused to discuss the issues she, Tsurenko and other compatriots wanted to raise with the body. “Before a meeting can take place, I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about it,” she said.
In Miami, the luck of the draw put her on the same road to the second round as Potapova (26th). At the end of a match under high tension, which nevertheless took place without incident, the latter won 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the 3rd round, where she will face the American Coco Gauff (6th).
Whatever I say, I will reap a lot of hate. But a warning? Never mind
The Russian angered the Ukrainian players last week in Indian Wells by entering the court wearing a Spartak Moscow football club jersey. This was seen as a sign of support for his country in the conflict in Ukraine and earned him a formal warning from the WTA.
Nothing to satisfy Kostyuk. “There are a lot of things that I disagree with what the WTA is doing. It’s not going to change anything,” she said. “Whatever I say, I’ll get a lot of hate. But a warning? Never mind. You can suspend someone, I don’t know. I can’t comment on that, it’s just funny.”
A lot of tension between Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians
Last week, Aryna Sabalenka admitted that “there is a lot of tension” between Russians and Belarusians on the one hand and Ukrainians on the other.
“It is obvious that there are tensions, we are not friends, we are at war at the moment”, abounded Kostyuk20, who won her first WTA title in Austin earlier this month, beating Russia’s Varvara Gracheva in the final.
“I may not say hello to some players, but I never approached anyone, I never spoke to anyone. Maybe I spread hatred just by my presence,” he said. -she throws.
When asked if she is able to ignore the war when she is on the courts, Kostyuk replied, “It depends on the day. I think it’s best to avoid any type of news, because for the past year most of the news I’ve been getting is horrible and bad.”