Victoria Azarenka gestures to crowd as she’s booed off after defeat to Elina Svitolina at Wimbledon

Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka was booed off court by some spectators after her defeat to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina at Wimbledon.

Azarenka lost out in the nail-biting championship tie-break as Svitolina won 2-6 6-4 7-6 (11-9) in the epic contest on No.1 Court.


The win meant a lot to SvitolinaCredit: Getty
The players didn't shake hands at the end of the match


The players didn’t shake hands at the end of the matchCredit: BBC
Azarenka shook her head as she was booed off court


Azarenka shook her head as she was booed off courtCredit: bbc
She then made a gesture with her wrists as she exited


She then made a gesture with her wrists as she exitedCredit: BBC

The respective nationalities of the players brought the match under the microscope even more with Ukrainian sports stars, including Svitolina, taking the stance of not shaking hands of Russian or Belarusian athletes amid the invasion of Ukraine.

After the match Svitolina cut a delighted figure as she booked her place in the quarter-finals but neither player shook hands at the conclusion of the fourth-round tie although there was an acknowledgement between them from a distance.

Azarenka was then booed off court by some supporters and made a gesture where she placed her two wrists together when walking off.

Reacting to the boos for Azarenka, tennis icon said on commentary for BBC Sport: “The crowd is wrong on that one.”

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Svitolina received a rousing reception from the crowd in attendance as she admitted she was playing for her people.

Svitolina, who gave birth to her daughter Skai in October, said post-match: “After giving birth this is the happiest moment of my life.

“I was just thinking back home there are lots of people watching me and cheering for me so… I know how much it means to them and any moment of happiness they can share…

“I was just thinking there were tough times in Ukraine and I’m here playing in front of you guys and I cannot complain, I just have to fight and win every single point.

“Thank you so much.”

Svitolina fought back the tears in her post-match interview


Svitolina fought back the tears in her post-match interviewCredit: BBC

Russian and Belarusian athletes were allowed to compete at SW19 at this year’s championships.

However, they’ve been competing as neutrals like on the rest of the tour since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They are not allowed to receive funding from the Russian state or be sponsored by companies controlled by the states and any flags, logos and symbols showing support for their countries and the war is forbidden.

Svitolina takes on French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Belinda Bencic on Centre Court in three sets on Sunday, in the quarter-finals.

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