Father of Ukrainian tennis player explained why she shook hands with Russian at the Australian Open
The father of 16-year-old Ukrainian tennis player Yelyzaveta Kotlyar said that his daughter made a mistake and explained it by the high tension on the court. The day before, the 16-year-old from Dnipro shook hands with her Russian opponent Vlada Mincheva after a match at the Australian Open junior tennis tournament.
Kotlyar said that due to their young age, the girls have no real experience of playing in such major competitions as the Grand Slam tournaments.
"There is an extraordinary atmosphere here, which in itself puts a lot of pressure on the athletes. At the beginning of your career, it's hard to cope with this and not be nervous. Unfortunately, my daughter didn't feel calm, her emotions were running high, so she didn't fully control her behavior," the FTU quoted the man as saying.
Konstantin admitted that Liza "performed the post-match ritual on automatic".
"I didn't realize that behind the net was a representative of the country that attacked our homeland. It was definitely a mistake, and Liza is very sorry for it and assures me that she will never allow anything like that to happen again. She will always remember who is who. In fact, she is a sincere patriot of Ukraine, she has always been like that, she is and she will remain like that in the future," Kotlyar summarized.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, on January 19, Ukrainian Marta Kostiuk refused to shake hands with Russian Elina Avanesyan after the third round match of the Australian Open 2024. Our compatriot won a dramatic match with a comeback, and then the athletes did not hold the traditional greeting.