Former Ukrainian tennis player Alexandr Dolgopolov claims Vladimir Putin “has the support of many Russian tennis players.” On Sunday, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk defeated Varvara Gracheva of Russia in the Austin final. After the final, Kostyuk received some criticism for refusing to shake hands with Gracheva and also refusing to take part in a traditional finalist photoshoot.
Dolgopolov strongly responded to the criticism directed at Kostyuk, accusing tennis of “failing to keep the sport away from genocide.”
Dolgopolov comes to Kostyuk’s defense
“Putin has giant support in Russia, we have numerous facts that even many tennis players themselves support their government and nothing has been done, tennis failed to keep the sport away from genocide, so better be quiet about your handshakes and sportsmanship clown show.
Oh and apart from being silent accomplices and taxpayers and voters and etc, until you don’t have proof that their relatives or friends are not killing, my relatives, friends or Ukrainians daily here and fighting myself, just be quiet please, because it sounds pathetic,” Dolgopolov wrote on Twitter
Oh and apart from being silent accomplices and tax payers and voters and etc., until you don’t have proof that their relatives or friends are not killing, my relatives, friends or Ukrainians daily here and fighting myself, just be quite please, because it sounds pathetic — Alex Dolgopolov (@TheDolgo) March 6, 2023
After beating Gracheva for the first WTA title, 20-year-old Kostyuk dedicated her title to those who are “fighting and dying right now” in Ukraine.
“Everyone who is in the stands and everyone who is watching, especially in Ukraine, I want to say ‘Slava Ukraini.’ Being in the position that I’m in right now it’s extremely special to win this title. I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and all of the people who are fighting and dying right now,” Kostyuk said after lifting the Austin title.
Meanwhile, Kostyuk has been very outspoken since the start of the Russian aggression on Ukraine. At the Us Open, Kostyuk refused to shake hands with Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka. After the match, Kostyuk explained that Russian and Belarusian players weren’t doing enough to show that they were against what was happening in Ukraine.