Kostyuk dedicates first title to those 'fighting and dying' in Ukraine

March 6, 2023 12:18 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk dedicated her first WTA singles title to those “fighting and dying” in her home country amid Russia’s ongoing invasion after she defeated Russian Varvara Gracheva 6-3 7-5 to win the inaugural Austin Open.

The 20-year-old collapsed on the court and covered her face with her hands after securing the title but declined to shake the hand of her Russian opponent at the net.

Western military officials estimate casualties on both sides at more than 100,000 killed or wounded since Russia’s assault began just over a year ago. Tens of thousands of civilians are also feared to have died, while millions have fled the threat of fighting.

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On Sunday, a woman and two children were killed in Russian mortar shelling of a village in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office said.

Moscow calls the conflict a “special military operation” to protect its security and denies targeting civilians.