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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday February 14, 2024

We’ve all heard the saying: “Just here for the handshake.”

On Wednesday in Doha that would have been a good plan, because while Victoria Azarenka’s 6-0, 6-3 win over Jelena Ostapenko was a lot closer in the second set, it wasn’t much of a match.

Tennis Express

No, unfortunately, the thing that most fans will be talking about when it comes to Azarenka’s third win over Ostapenko in the last six weeks will be the handshake – or lack thereof.

Here’s how it went down:

Hard to say what Ostapenko’s reasoning for not offering her hand to Azarenka after the match might have been. She did, however, offer her racquet, and was prepared to exchange in a bit of Covid-style racquet tapping with the Belarusian. Azarenka, a bit confused by it all, declined.

Was Ostapenko just being a sore sport? Was she acting in solidarity with Ukraine? Does she have Covid or another type of contagious illness?

It appears that she's following her countrie's initiative: We learned on February 1st that "Latvia's parliament voted Thursday to ban its national teams from playing any national teams of Russia and Belarus regardless of what flag they may compete under, as a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine."

We're not sure how that will play out in tennis circles, but we may have just gotten our first example.

This, apparently, explains the awkward moment at the net, though we can't be sure until we hear from Jelena herself.

Note: This article was updated for clarity regarding Latvia's decision to act in solidarity with Ukraine.