Marta Kostyuk has become the latest player to discuss locker room “tensions” as the row between pros from Ukraine and their Russian and Belarusian rivals rumbles on. The world No 38 refused to shake her Russian opponent’s hand following their Miami Open match on Thursday. Kostyuk later gave a blunt response when explaining why she didn’t complete their handshake.
And she had a simple answer for her decision to snub the 27th seed, telling reporters: “Obviously there is tension. Like, we’re not friends.” Kostyuk also made a dig at the WTA as she claimed that warning the world No 26 wasn’t enough following her Moscow shirt controversy.
The world No 38 continued: “We’re at war at the moment. There are a lot of things that I don’t agree with that WTA is doing. Warning? Whatever. You give her a warning. Do you want to suspend someone? I don’t know. I can’t comment on that really. It’s just funny.”
Kostyuk also thought she would cop some heat for her reaction, adding: “I’ll just get more hate online. Whatever I say, I will get a lot of hate.” Meanwhile, the Kyiv-born player also slammed the tour for refusing a meeting with Ukrainian players.
“Yes, we wanted to have the meeting with the board and we didn’t get one. No reply, nothing, just silence,” she revealed. “I mean, once we’re in the meeting we can talk about it. Before the meeting I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about what we want to talk about there. There are a lot of things that I don’t agree with that WTA is doing, this not going to change anything.”
A WTA spokesperson has since denied Kostyuk’s claims telling AFP that the organisation received the players’ request and would hold a meeting after they found a suitable date. The tour also said they had staged previous meetings with Ukrainian players when requested.
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