Look: There Was A Handshake Refusal At U.S. Open Thursday.
Image credit -- Getty images
After being knocked out by Victoria Azarenka in a second-round match at the US Open on Thursday,
Marta Kostyuk tapped her opponent's racket instead of shaking hands.
After the match, according to ESPN's Aishwarya Kumar, the Ukrainian player explained that the Belarusian player's handshake was inappropriate.
The United States has sanctioned Belarus for aiding in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"It was my choice - I don't feel like I don't know anyone who has publicly denounced war,
And the actions of his government, so I don't think I can support it," Kostyuk said.
"Don't get me wrong, she's a great competitor. But, it has nothing to do with her being a human."
Kostyuk said she informed Azarenka on Wednesday that she would not shake hands after the match.
According to Kumar, Kostyuk criticized Azarenka for engaging in his requests not to speak out or negotiate against the war.
Azarenka was originally supposed to attend a fundraising event for Ukraine last week,
But he was dropped after Kostyuk refused to compete because of Azarenka's involvement.
Azarenka told reporters that she reached out to Ukrainian players through the WTA.
who said "this is not a good time" to have a conversation with him.
She said she was "here to try to help" and was willing to talk to Kostyuk.
"I am open at any time to listen, to try to understand, to empathize," Azarenka said.
"I believe empathy is really important at the moment, which, again, has been my clear message in the beginning."
Former number one Azarenka will face Petra Martic in the third round of the US Open.