For the first time in her career, Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk wins a title on the WTA Tour. In the final she plays against the Russian Varvara Gratschewa – and rejects a mandatory gesture in protest.

The Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostjuk caused a stir after her first tournament victory on the WTA tour with a refused handshake. After her 6: 3, 7: 5 win against the Russian Varvara Gracheva in the Austin final, she refrained from the obligatory gesture at the net.

The 20-year-old said she won’t do that if she’s playing against an opponent from Russia, which has attacked Ukraine, or Belarus, which supports the invasion. “In the situation I’m in right now, it’s very special to win this title. I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and to all the people who are fighting and dying right now,” she said at the awards ceremony.

After her converted match point, Kostjuk, who has risen from 52nd to 40th in the world rankings as a result of her success, fell to the ground crying. She had already refused to shake hands with Belarusian Viktoria Asarenka at the US Open last year. She also openly criticized the father of Grand Slam record winner Novak Djokovic at the Australia Open in January. After his son’s semifinals, Srdjan Djokovic was filmed with fans displaying a Russian flag and pro-Russian symbols.