Daria Kasatkina says she understands why Ukrainian players do not shake the hands of their Russian counterparts ©Getty Images

Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina feels that Ukrainians have good reason not to shake hands with opposition from her country due to the ongoing war, which she has been an outspoken critic of.

The 25-year-old beat Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in straight sets in the Madrid Open women's singles tournament last week.

Following the match, Tsurenko refused to shake the hand of the Russian number one and world number eight.

"The saddest thing is that the war is still going on, so the players from Ukraine have a lot of reasons not to shake hands with us," Kasatkina said, as reported by iDNES.

"I take it, it's a very sad situation.

"I was glad she waved back to me as she left the court."

Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to play as neutrals at the Women's Tennis Association, Association of Tennis Professionals and International Tennis Federation competitions since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

"Ninety-five per cent of Russian athletes cannot participate in international events, so I appreciate that we tennis players can," said Kasatkina.

Despite sympathising with the Ukrainian players, Kasatkina is still looking forward to playing at Wimbledon again.

Organisers of the event, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, have allowed Russian and Belarusian players to feature this year after an outright ban at the 2022 edition.

"I was really sad that I couldn't play him last year," Kasatkina continued.

"Although of course there was a reason for it, it still hurt.

"I am glad that we will be able to return this year, we are lucky for the sport that we can still compete."

In order to be allowed to compete, athletes from the two countries must sign a declaration confirming that they condemn the war.

They are also not permitted to receive support from their state or state-owned companies.

This means that Kasatkina's compatriot Veronika Kudermetova, who beat her in the round-of-16 in the Spanish capital, will have to change her uniform.

"I'm not breaking any rules at the moment, but I know we can't wear logos associated with our country at Wimbledon," Kudermetova said, as reported by iDNES.

"I take note, if I wanted to play at Wimbledon, I would have to remove it."