After the ATX Open final, Varvara Gracheva and Marta Kostyuk ought to have respected a straightforward act of sportsmanship by shaking hands: Kevin McNamee

At the conclusion of their ATX Open final in Austin, Texas, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk and Russia’s Varvara Gracheva did not shake hands at the net, much to the disappointment of the former doubles world No. First, Paul McNamee The former player was of the opinion that, despite their disagreements, players should respect the “simple act of sportsmanship” and acknowledge one another’s efforts after a game.

In Sunday’s final, Kostyuk defeated Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 to win her first WTA title. In light of Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine, Kostyuk had previously stated that she would not shake hands with Russian or Belarusian players after the match. However, the two players did not meet at the net for the customary handshake.

McNamee stated in response to the incident that players simply cannot avoid handshakes, which symbolize basic respect for one another’s efforts during a game.

“Have we lowered our standards to such an extent that the simplest act of sportsmanship between two athletes who are competing as individuals is not respected?” Regardless of the outcome, you shake hands with your opponent. You look them in the eye. “Permanently,” Paul McNamee stated in a tweet.

The doubles champion who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon admitted that he understood where Kostyuk and Gracheva’s emotions came from, but that they shouldn’t take precedence over respect for tennis’ “traditions.”

Last year, Kostyuk also expressed her displeasure with Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and many other WTA tour colleagues for not speaking out against the war or the plight of Ukrainians.

The ATX Open title is dedicated to Ukraine by Marta Kostyuk.

Marta Kostyuk dedicated her first WTA title to Ukraine, specifically to those who have died fighting against Russia’s invasion and those who continue to do so. In an emotional speech at the trophy presentation, Kostyuk opened up about the same thing and talked about how special it felt to win her first title.

In her on-court speech, Marta Kostyuk stated, “I need to devote it to Ukraine and individuals those who are now battling and dying

Kostyuk reached a career-high ranking of No. 1 in tennis. 40 following her ATX Open performance. The 20-year-old rookie season began at No. 69 on the list. She will not turn her attention to Indian Wells or Miami, where she has another chance to move up the rankings with strong performances and does not have many rankings to defend.

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