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Victoria Azarenka releases statement days after furious rant on booing Wimbledon crowd

Victoria Azarenka has spoken out about her exit from Wimbledon after she was booed off court by fans

Victoria Azarenka has spoken out for the first time since bowing out of Wimbledon to boos from the crowd following her defeat to Elina Svitolina earlier this week. The Belarusian was knocked out in the round of 16 by her Ukrainian opponent and was unceremoniously jeered by sections of the crowd at SW19 after the pair did not shake hands after the match at Svitolina’s request, and now Azarenka has had her say on the events that transpired.



The 33-year-old was beaten in a thrilling three-set match with Svitolina after losing 6-2, 4-6, 6-7 (9) on Court 1 in one of the most tense matches of the tournament.But much of the post-match discourse was dominated by the Belarus-Ukraine war narrative, with Azarenka booed off court by members of the crowd seemingly for not shaking hands with Svitolina.



However, the Ukrainian had stated before the match she would not partake in the tradition – and Azarenka insisted she would respect her wishes. Some spectators appeared to be unaware of their verbal agreement, much to the annoyance of both players.And now, after being jeered off court, Azarenka has spoken out after taking a few days to reflect on her eventful time in London.



“Hi everyone! Took a few days to digest the last few weeks,” she wrote on social media. “There is a lot I could say, but the feeling and thought I keep having is, when something great happens to us we usually have gratitude and say thank you.”When something unpleasant happens to us we ask why and usually the thank you comes later when we see the reason why after the fact. Whatever happens, happens for a reason (I really believe that). And I want to say thank you and I’ll continue being grateful for the experiences…”



Azarenka’s cryptic words offer little insight into who she was addressing, but it speaks to the tense atmosphere that has circulated around the Wimbledon courts over the past 10 days.
Azarenka’s comments come after she walked off court in apparent bemusement, smiling with disbelief and shaking her head as the boos followed her off court and down the tunnel. She made a gesture in response, clasping her her fists together above her head, but is yet to explain the reason behind it.



Her opponent Svitolina, who had experienced booing at the French Open for failing to shake hands with three Russian and Belarusian opponents on her way to the quarter-finals, said she had little sympathy as a result.”Well, I got the same. I got the same in Paris. I played three matches in Paris in this way. Today, as well.



“For me personally, 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. I don’t know if it’s maybe not clear for people. Some people not really know what is happening. So I think this is the right way to do.”

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