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‘Since the invasion of Ukraine…’: After comeback win in Wimbledon, Marta Kostyuk makes bombshell revelation

Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk stunned Greek Maria Sakkari in her first-round Wimbledon 2023 fixture, at Court 2 on Wednesday. Sakkari, who was seeded eighth, crashed to a 6-0 5-7 2-6 defeat against Kostyuk, who is currently 36th in the WTA Rankings. The 21-year-old has become one of the most vocal critics of Russian and Belarusian players on the tour. Last year, they were banned from Wimbledon, due to the invasion of Ukraine, but were allowed to continue competing at other tournaments as neutrals.

Meanwhile, at the French Open, Kostyuk was booed after refusing to shake hands with Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka after her opening-round defeat. On being jeered, she lashed out at the Roland Garros crowd. Speaking about her country after her win in the first round of Wimbledon, she said, “Since the invasion of Ukraine I have reconsidered many things.”

“I see them from a different point of view. Tennis is not the center of my life, it’s just what I do for a living. I don’t live what they go through. Thinking about who is going through the worst moments in life doesn’t make me feel better about my problems or the situation I’m facing at the moment. What happened makes me realize that tennis isn’t everything in my life,” she further added.

On being jeered by fans in Paris, she said, “That was questionable behavior on their part. I mean, they can do whatever they want but honestly, I didn’t get it.”

Against Sakkari, she was in danger of losing and dropped the first set to Love in only 25 minutes, before staging a comeback. There was a rain interruption in the first set and another in the second which helped her regain her momentum. Sakkari began on a dominating note and initially looked undisturbed by the rain suspension to take the first set after the restart. Kostyuk had other plans in the second set and staged a comeback with aggressive play. Kostyuk is set to face Paula Badosa in her second-round fixture, on Friday.

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