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‘Try to make the world better’: Daria Kasatkina tweets after Elina Svitolina Roland Garros clash
Svitolina praised the Russian for standing against her government’s invasion into Ukraine, and explained the cultural significance in the spelling of daughter Skaï’s name.
Published Jun 05, 2023
WATCH: Svitolina spoke to the press after a stunning fourth-round win over No. 9-seeded Kasatkina to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinals.
PARIS—Daria Kasatkina spoke out after her 6-4, 7-6 (5) defeat to Elina Svitolina at Roland Garros on Monday, encouraging fans to “try to make the world better” after she was booed off Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
“Yesterday I was booed for just being respectful on my opponents position not to shake hands,” said the No. 9 seed, who exchanged a thumbs up with Svitolina in acknowledgment of the former No. 3’s resurgent form.
“Me and Elina showed respect to each other after a tough match but leaving the court like that was the worst part of yesterday,” she wrote. “Be better, love each other. Don’t spread hate. Try to make this world better. I will love RG no matter what, always and forever. See u next year.”
Kasatkina has been one of the most outspoken Russian players in support of Ukraine, which was first invaded by Russian and Belarusian armed forces in February of last year. Though Ukrainians like Svitolina and Marta Kostyuk have refused to shake the hands of all Russian and Belarusian players as a rule, both have made a point to single out Kasatkina in a positive fashion.
“Really thankful for her position that she took,” Svitolina said after the match. “Yeah, she's really brave person to say it publicly, that not so many players did. She's a brave one.”
Kasatkina, who was threatened by a member of the Russian State Duma who wished to officially label her a “foreign agent” for her stance against the war, welcomed pop star Zemfira into her players box for her match against Svitolina.
Zemfira was declared a “foreign agent” on the onset of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, and has been living in Paris ever since.
In addition to her own direct support of Ukraine, Svitolina also employed some symbolism in the naming of her daughter Skaï—spelling it with a uniquely Ukrainian letter.
“It is special letter in Ukraine and actually in France, as well,” she said, paying tribute to husband Gaël Monfils.
“We wanted to call her Skaï at the beginning, and then when we were talking about the spelling, we thought this could be a special one for her.”
Svitolina will next face No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in her first major quarterfinal since welcoming Skaï to the family on Tuesday.