Belarusian Victoria Azarenka said it was unfair to boo Wimbledon after a match with Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

When Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina won her match against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka at Wimbledon on Sunday, the two players left the court without any interaction. Azarenka’s run in the tournament is over, and as she is walking towards the referee’s stand, she grabs her purse and left the court – without shaking hands with Svitolina – the crowd booed her.

Azarenka said the booing directed at her was “unfair”.

Svitolina decided after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year that she would not shake hands with players from that country and Belarus, Russia’s ally who supports its invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Azarenka said during Post-match press conference. “What was I to do? I stayed and waited? There was nothing I could do to be right. So I did what I thought was respectful of her decision.”

After her victory, Svitolina said while crying during the match that she thought people back home in Ukraine were watching and cheering for her. She advances to the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Svitolina maintained her position not to shake hands with players from Russia and Belarus, and said she believes tournament organizers should make this position clear to the fans, according to Reuters.

Fans might have assumed there was an unsportsmanlike reason for the Russian player to snub the Ukrainian. But Azarenka said she was not a victim while being booed.

“I can’t control the crowd. I’m not sure a lot of people understood what was going on… It was probably a lot of Pym’s throughout the day,” she said, referring to the gin usually served at Wimbledon.

She said the lack of a handshake wasn’t a big deal. “I thought it was a great tennis match. And if people are going to focus on shaking hands, or booing the crowd β€” the sugary crowd β€” at the end, that’s a shame,” she said.

Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon last year, after Russia invaded Ukraine, but 18 players entered the tournament this year – though not without controversy.

“We read about the frosty responses that many athletes from Russia received in locker rooms, and we saw the boos, as we saw yesterday,” Jules Boykoff, associate professor of political science at Pacific University, told CBS News. -Mary Green on Monday.

Boikov said after first being asked whether or not Russian and Belarusian athletes should participate in sporting events, the organizers of Wimbledon and the Olympics softened their positions.

“These athletes from Russia and Belarus come from a wide range of backgrounds. And some of them have actually been very vocal against the war, which is incredibly brave and puts their lives and maybe even their families’ lives at risk,” he said. . β€œAnd so, you have to really feel for these athletes who are under pressure in the middle of this very difficult and complex situation.”

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