The internet has been left divided after tennis star Donna Vekic refused to shake the hand of her opponent Lesia Tsurenko after their second round match at Indian Wells.
Tsurenko fought back from a set down to defeat the world No.23 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, but all the drama came after the final point.
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Vekic didn’t meet Tsurenko at the net to shake hands as is customary, and then proceeded to snub the Ukrainian a second time when Tsurenko approached with her hand outstretched.
Vekic barely acknowledged Tsurenko’s hand, simply shaking her head and continuing to pack her bag while the bewildered Ukrainian walked away awkwardly.
Curiously, the pair met two weeks ago at the Monterrey Open with Tsurenko retiring during the second set.
Twitter has blown up over the snub, with many fans weighing in with their theories.
One user said Tsurenko had “feigned injury” while another agreed, “Donna was probably tired of the unprofessional antics of Tsurenko. All match pretending she’s deathly ill or injured but playing just fine during points. It was ridiculous! Complete melodrama all match.”
Another pro-Vekic fan said: “I guess it’s what you get for acting like you are about to retire after every points and slow the game. Lesia is doing it for years… someone had to show how to behave.”
But on the other side, the act was described as “poor sportsmanship,” with others suggesting she was being “a sore loser.”
Another user labelled the move as “completely unacceptable.”
“Being a sore loser is one thing, but refusing a handshake is a complete disrespect towards the opponent.”
Vekic entered Indian Wells off the back of a successful start to 2023 with her first title of the WTA season, defeating world No.5 Caroline Garcia 6-4 3-6 7-5 in the Monterrey Open final.
Vekic, 26, only dropped only two sets through her five matches in Mexico this. She also made the 2023 Australian Open quarter-finals, losing to eventual winner Aryna Sabalenka.
– With AAP.