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‘Embarrassing’: Tennis fans slam ‘disgusting’ post-match act

Victoria Azarenka caught up in ‘disgraceful’ Wimbledon handshake furore
Ukrainian Elina Svitolina has flipped the script after her beaten rival was booed off court.



Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina has turned the tables on tennis officials after her beaten opponent, Victoria Azarenka, was booed off court in the wake of her fourth round loss at the All England Club. The Belarusian went down in a 2-6 6-4 7-6 (11/9) nail-biter on Court One, in which the Ukrainian received overwhelming support from the crowd.



However, things turned unsavoury after Svitolina wrapped up the thrilling win, when Azarenka gave her a polite wave and left the court without the customary handshake. Svitolina has made it clear for months that she is unwilling to shake hands with any players from Belarus or Russia, due to the war in her Ukraine homeland.



Knowing this was the case, there was nothing else Azarenka could have done but it didn’t stop the crowd from booing her as she left the court. Azarenka seemed genuinely shocked by the crowd’s response as she stopped and turned around in disbelief, before banging her wrists together in a defiant gesture and walking off the court.





Tennis world hits out over ’embarrassing’ scenes
It was an unfortunate end to an absorbing fourth round contest, with viewers slamming the crowd behaviour on social media. Many labelled it “disgusting” and “embarrassing” from spectators to boo Azarenka over a situation that is completely out of her control.









Azarenka suggested fans may have had one too many drinks after speaking about the ugly scenes in her post-match press conference. “I can’t control the crowd,” she said. “I’m not sure that a lot of people were understanding what’s happening. It’s probably been a lot of Pimm’s throughout the day. It wasn’t fair. What can I do?



“I feel like it’s been pretty consistent for the last 18, 19 months. I haven’t done anything wrong but I keep getting different treatment sometimes. She doesn’t want to shake hands with Russian, Belarusian people. I respected her decision. What should I have done? Stayed and waited? There’s no thing that I could do that would have been right, so I just did what I thought was respectful towards her decision.



“But this conversation about shaking hands is not a life-changing conversation. So if you guys want to keep talking about it, bring it up, make it a big deal, headlines, whatever it is, keep going. I thought it was a great tennis match. If people are going to be focusing only on handshakes or a quite drunk crowd, booing in the end, that’s a shame.”



Elina Svitolina flips script after booing furore
Svitolina turned the tables on tennis officials after the match by insisting it was their responsibility to explain the situation to fans so there was no repeat of the unsavoury scenes. “I think the tennis organisations, they have to come out with a statement that there will be no handshake between Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian players,” she said.



“I already said multiple times that, until Russian troops are out of Ukraine and we take back our territories, I’m not going to shake hands. I don’t know how more clear I can be.”



Svitolina’s incredible win came after she recovered from 7-4 down in the deciding set super tiebreak, before sealing victory with an ace. The Ukrainian’s win sets up a mouthwatering showdown with World No.1 Iga Swiatek, who had to save two match points before winning a marathon match against Belinda Bencic, 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.





Swiatek looked down and out at 15-40 on her serve at 5-6 in the second set, but she produced her best tennis with two sumptuous winners to turn the tie around. The four-time grand slam champion continued to be pushed all the way by Olympic gold medallist Bencic in a tense third set before eventually prevailing in a three-hour epic on Centre Court.



Fourth seed Jessica Pegula also progressed into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-3. Next up for Pegula is a quarter-final clash with Marketa Vondrousova, who dug deep to win the all-Czech encounter with Marie Bouzkova 2-6 6-4 6-3.



Russian teenage prodigy Mirra Andreeva continued her fairytale event at just 16 years of age, the qualifier reaching the fourth round in her very first senior grass-court tournament. Andreeva was nerveless as she defeated her compatriot, the No.22 seed Anastasia Potapova 6-2 7-5 to reach the last-16 where she’ll face former US Open finalist Madison Keys.

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