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Victoria Azarenka booed off Court following defeat to Elena Svitolina

Svitolina bested Azarenka 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(11-9) in one of the matches of the tournament. But why did the pair refuse to shake hands at the end of the match, resulting in boos from the crowd, directed at Azarenka?

Following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, Svitolina has stated that she will not shake the hand of any Russian or Belarussian player once the match has concluded.

After smashing down an ace to give her an incredible victory, in 2 hours 46 minutes, Svitolina fell on her back in disbelief.

In respect of Svitolina's views, Azarenka came to the net and gave a respectful hand wave in appreciation of the battle the two had just partaken in.

While Svitolina continued to celebrate her hard fought win, Azarenka packed up her rackets and began to leave Court One.

The crowd, evidently not aware of the pre agreed omission of the hand shake, took this to be bad sportsmanship on behalf of Azarenka and began to loudly boo the former double Australian Open Champion.

Azarenka seemed perplexed by the crowd's reaction and, shortly before exiting Court One, made a gesture, banging her wrists together, towards the crowd.

Svitolina herself was booed at last Months French Open for refusing to shake hands with Aryna Sabalenka after being defeated in the quarter-finals.

In an interview afterwards Azarenka stated that she believed the crowds reaction "wasn't fair" and that she couldn't have done anything differently.

"She doesn't want to shake hands with Russian, Belarusian people. I respected her decision."

Svitolina believes that tennis governing bodies should take responsibility to clear up any misunderstanding at the end of a match.

"I think the tennis organisations have to come out with a statement that there will be no handshake between Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian players."

It is a great shame that such an incredible match isn't being focussed on for the quality of the tennis, but rather for the ill informed reaction of the crowd.

Nevertheless, Svitolina marches onto the quarter-finals, where she will play world #1 Iga Swiatek, who overcame two match points in a granite performance against Belinda Bencic.

Wimbledon continues to enthral.


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