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French Open: Daria Kasatkina hits out after being booed off court following defeat to Elina Svitolina | Tennis News


Jun 5, 2023

Daria Kasatkina said she was leaving Paris “with a very bitter feeling” after she was booed off court following her defeat by Elina Svitolina.

Knowing Ukrainian players’ stance of not shaking hands with Russian or Belarusian opponents at the end of matches, Kasatkina gave Svitolina a thumbs up, which was reciprocated, before walking to her chair.

Some of the fans on Suzanne Lenglen then responded by booing the Russian as she walked off court.

Be better, love each other. Don’t spread hate. Try to make this world better. I will love RG no matter what, always and forever. See u next year.

Daria Kasatkina

Kasatkina wrote on Twitter: “Leaving Paris with a very bitter feeling.

“All this days, after every match I’ve played in Paris I always appreciate and thanked the crowd for support and being there for the players. But yesterday I was booed for just being respectful on my opponent’s position not to shake hands.

“Me and Elina showed respect to each other after a tough match but leaving the court like that was the worse part of yesterday.

“Be better, love each other. Don’t spread hate. Try to make this world better. I will love RG no matter what, always and forever. See u next year.”

The world No 9 has been the most outspoken Russian or Belarusian player against the invasion of Ukraine, provoking a strong negative reaction in her home country.

Kasatkina is also one of the few Russian athletes to have come out as gay and she earned praise from Svitolina, who said of her anti-war stance: “I’m really thankful for her position that she took.

“She’s a really brave person to say it publicly, that not so many players did.”

Known as one of the most uncompromising crowds in tennis, the spotlight has been on the Roland Garros patrons this year as sport has mixed with politics.

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in action against Martina Trevisan of Italy in her first round match on Day Two of Roland Garros on May 29, 2023 in Paris, France (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
Svitolina will take on Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals

Svitolina and fellow Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk were also booed after not shaking hands, while Novak Djokovic hit out at fans who jeered him while he took a medical time-out.

Svitolina faced another Russian player in the third round, Anna Blinkova, and next she will take on Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Sabalenka has been criticised by Ukrainian players for not speaking out strongly enough against the war and has refused to do press conferences after her last two matches following tense exchanges with a Ukrainian journalist over her previous support for Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko.

Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, celebrates during his match against Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, in New York. The 2023 Grand Slam season begins at the Australian Open next week. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
Nick Kyrgios said getting booed ‘is always a factor in sport’

Nick Kyrgios also got involved in the debate, tweeting: “All around the world, whether it be having people chanting your name, idolising you, getting booed at, it’s always going to be a factor in sport. Why are we having so many people complain about it?”

Kyrgios: If you a hit a ball at a kid it’s a default

Miyu Kato (JPN) and Aldila Sutjiadi (INA) look across the court to their doubles opponents during the BNP Paribas Open on March 17, 2023 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Miyu Kato (left) and Aldila Sutjiadi apologised to the ball girl

Meanwhile, Japanese player Miyu Kato apologised after she hit a ball girl in the head with a ball.

Kato and her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi, the 16th seeds, apologised to the ball girl and lengthy discussions took place before the decision was made to disqualify the pair, who appeared incredulous, amid booing from the crowd.

“I would like to sincerely apologize to the Ball Girl, my partner Aldila&Team, & my supporters because of today’s unfortunate mishap,” Kato wrote on social media. “It was completely unintentional. As a result, I am penalized by RG by forfeiting my prize money & points. I appreciate all your continued support!”

Kyrgios had no sympathy for the doubles pair, adding on Twitter: “It’s not about the intent, if you a hit a ball at a kid it’s a default.”

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