With her victory over Varvara Gracheva in the final of the ATX Open, Marta Kostyuk won her first-ever WTA 250 event.
And after her victory, she made multiple statements, verbal and otherwise.
Following her victory, Kostyuk, who is Ukrainian, didn’t shake hands with the Russian, Gracheva. After securing the victory, Kostyuk fell to the ground. When she returned to her feet, she walked over to shake hands with the umpire, walking by Gracheva, who had gone to her chair. After shaking the umpire’s hand, Kostyuk again walked by Gracheva.
Marta Kostyuk said she won't shake hands with Russians & she did that exactly even after winning her first title 👌 pic.twitter.com/7W23wNp1JG
— Kostyuk Fan 🇺🇦 (@KostyukFan) March 5, 2023
Gracheva had her back turned to Kostyuk both times she walked past her. So, she clearly wasn’t expecting a handshake.
Kostyuk has been highly critical of Russian players, particularly those who have not publicly spoken out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The 20-year-old has been a vocal critic of Russian and Belarusian players being allowed to continue to play on the WTA Tour, and spoken previously of her disapproval of players who refuse to condemn the invasion of her country by Moscow,” Harry Latham-Coyle of The Independent said after Kostyuk’s win.
And after her victory, Kostyuk paid tribute to the people of her home country.
“I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all of the people who are fighting and dying right now.”
— wta (@WTA) March 5, 2023