"Am I a victim? It's a shame": Belarusian Azarenka reacts to fans' whistling after match with Svitolina
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka urged fans and journalists not to focus on the refusal of Ukrainian tennis players to shake hands with Belarusians and Russians. The 33-year-old native of Minsk, commenting on the whistling in her address after her defeat by Elina Svitolina, said she respects the decision of our compatriots.
Azarenka said this at a press conference after the match, the Reuters news agency reports. The Belarusian tennis player added that she considers it a disgrace to focus not on her game with Svitolina, but on how the fans behaved in the stands of the arena in London. She also urged not to consider her a victim of her rival.
"I think it was a great tennis match. If people only focus on the handshakes or the crowd, a rather drunken crowd that was whistling at the end, it's a shame. She doesn't want to shake hands with either the Russians or the Belarusians. I respect her decision. What was I supposed to do? Stay and wait? Am I a victim? A victim because someone didn't shake my hand? Stop it... This conversation about handshakes will not change lives," said Victoria.
Svitolina reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2023 for the first time. Russians are furious over the success of the Ukrainian tennis player.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, a well-known Russian figure skating coach Tatyana Tarasova said that Elina Svitolina deliberately makes anti-Russian statements out of fear of her compatriots.