Elina Svitolina insists on refusing handshakes with Russian players

Friday, 17 May 2024 at 22:00
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Elina Svitolina again addressed not shaking hands with Russian players following her victory over Anna Kalinskaya at the Rome Open, winning 6-3, 6-3. When asked why she avoids shaking hands with Russian and Belarusian opponents, Svitolina mentioned she is tired of being asked the same question.
The world No. 19 explained once more during a press conference that her stance is due to the ongoing Russian invasion of her country. In her third-round match against Kalinskaya, the Ukrainian did not greet her opponent after the match, but she did thank the Italian crowd on the court.

Svitolina insists she will not shake hands with Russian or Belarusian players

The former world No. 3 commented a few months ago in the Daily Mail that when she steps onto the court, her thoughts are always the same: "Every time I play I think of those who fight. On the pitch, I feel like a soldier; it's my war," she said.
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Svitolina at Center Court in the Foro Italico.
This time, in a press conference in Rome, she expressed frustration that people do not understand her stance and criticize her for not shaking hands with some of her rivals: "It's very sad and frustrating to me that people don't understand this. It's an obvious thing not to shake hands when I have so many friends on the front lines fighting for Ukraine.”
“Can you imagine them watching me compete and seeing me shaking hands as if nothing had happened? People need to understand that sometimes you can't separate politics from sport. They represent their country, and I represent mine to the world. In this sense, my position must be clear," she stated.

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