Rome Masters: Ukrainian tennis player refuses to shake Russian opponent’s hand after semifinal victory
Ukrainian tennis player Anhelina Kalinina refused to shake hands with her Russian opponent Veronika Kudermatova, following the former’s victory in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters in Italy on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after the match at the Foro Italico, Rome, Kalinna said, “We didn’t shake hands because the girl is originally from Russia. It’s no secret why I didn’t move, because this country actually invades Ukraine.
“So yes, it’s a game, I understand, but it’s also kind of a political thing. So, yes, it’s nothing personal. But in general, yes, it is not acceptable.
Kudermatova was asked about her relationship with Kalinina and the influence of “political opportunities”, and replied, “I mean, here we are athletes. We are here, and we love what we do here. It has nothing to do with it.” It doesn’t matter what country you’re from. We’re athletes and that’s it. We’re here to play tennis.”
Kalinina rejected the idea that her opponent’s nationality affected the topsy-turvy nature of the match, describing Kudermatova as “a top player, a very great player”. It was about tennis. ”
Kalinina, ranked 47th in the world, registered a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory over No. 12 Kudermatova.
The 26-year-old Ukrainian was asked about his family, who are currently living in Kiev, and revealed a bomb explosion near the tennis academy where his parents work. He also said that his grandparents eventually moved away from his hometown of Nova Kakhovka after an explosion near their home.
In her on-court interview after the match, Kalinna said, “It’s also very important for me to win every match, because you know, the way Ukraine is going, I just want to say that I really hope That I will win a small match. Light for my country and maybe some positive feelings.
Kalinina will face Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final. Rybakina was born in Russia but has been representing Kazakhstan since 2018.