Sabalenka Admits To 'Not Feeling Safe At Press Conference' After Journalist Clash

Sabalenka Admits To 'Not Feeling Safe At Press Conference' After Journalist Clash

Aryna Sabalenka created quite a moment of confusion at Roland Garros with her request to hold a 'closed off' press conference.

The Belarusian clashed with a reporter in her previous press conference as they questioned her support towards Belarus' president. The player didn't want to go through that again so she asked the event to organize a 'closed off' press conference, citing mental health as a reason for the request.

She was ultimately granted that request and she held a smaller press conference without the Ukrainian journalist that grilled her on her support for Alexander Lukashenko. In the closed press conference, she addressed the whole matter explaining that she really didn't feel safe last time around.

Yeah, after my match I spoke with the media like I normally do. I know they still expect some questions that are more about politics and not so much about my tennis. For many months now I have answered these questions at tournaments and been very clear in my feelings and my thoughts.

Wednesday I did not feel safe in press conference. For my own mental health and well-being, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision.

Fellow player Elina Svitolina was asked about Sabalenka's move though she refused to comment on it explaining that it's not her business. Sabalenka's choice of words created some uproar on social media as tennis fans wondered about the mental health of Ukrainian players having to not only play but share locker rooms with players coming from a country that invaded their own.

This wasn't the first time Sabalenka's name was involved in the Ukraine war discussion. Lesia Tsurenko pulled out before her match against Sabalenka in Indian Wells citing a panic attack. She blasted the WTA for a lack of support for Ukranian players with her coach slamming Sabalenka's reactions to the pull-out too.


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