Ukrainian tennis star Marta Kostyuk responded calmly to a person who seemed to callously question her contributions to Ukraine. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kostyuk has been outspoken about what is happening in her country and has been actively trying to find ways to support her country.
Still, one person proceeded to ask Kostyuk during an Instagram Q&A: «Why aren’t you fighting for your country in Ukraine?» Kostyuk calmly replied: «I am fighting.» At the US Open, Kostyuk was asked if she was in the position to be «a spokesperson» for her country.
“I don’t know how I feel about this, being a spokesperson. I feel good with this role. Now I represent my nation even more than before. When I do something it’s not just for me, there’s a whole nation taking care of me and supporting me.
You approach things differently when you’re in this position,» Kostyuk said.
Kostyuk did not want to shake hands with Victoria Azarenka
Before the start of the US Open, the USTA held a charity event for Ukraine.
Azarenka, a Belarusian tennis star, was scheduled to play at that event. Kostyuk publicly expressed his displeasure at having Azarenka at a charity event for Ukraine. The USTA later removed Azarenka from her benefit event.
After Azarenka defeated Kostyuk in the second round of the US Open, Kostyuk did not want to shake Azarenka’s hand. Kostyuk said that he never heard Azarenka condemn the actions of his country and that is why he did not feel it was right to shake her hand.
“It was my choice: I don’t feel like I don’t know anyone who has publicly condemned the war and the actions of their government, so I don’t feel like I can support this. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great competitor. But it has nothing to do with her being a human being,» Kostyuk said.