Sabalenka Turns Down Press Conference Once Again At Roland Garros

Sabalenka Turns Down Press Conference Once Again At Roland Garros

by Balasz Virag

Once again, Aryna Sabalenka won't be having a classic press conference at the 2023 Roland Garros.

In the fourth round of the 2023 Roland Garros, the second-seeded Belarusian outplayed Sloane Stephens from the United States to book her quarterfinal spot against Elina Svitolina who eliminated the ninth-seeded Daria Kasatkina earlier on the day.

During the event, the potential new World No.1 on the WTA Tour, has been making headlines not just for her performances on the court, but also for her conduct off it. Following her third-round victory, Sabalenka made the unusual decision to turn down a general press conference, a move that caught many by surprise.

The controversy began during Sabalenka's first-round press conference when a reporter accused her of twisting words. The tension escalated after her second-round win against compatriot Iryna Shymanovich, when the same reporter questioned Sabalenka's political stance, specifically her support for Belarus' president Alexander Lukashenko amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The tension didn't end there. Following her third-round victory over Kamila Rakhimova, Sabalenka anticipated another encounter with the same journalist and chose to hold a closed press conference to protect her mental health, allowing only selected journalists to attend.

The fallout from Sabalenka's press conference decision has created a ripple effect throughout the tennis community. Elina Svitolina was asked about Sabalenka's move but chose not to comment, stating that it was not her business.

Now, the Belarusian is set to face the Ukrainian in the next round after her fourth-round win, but after the match, she announced that she won't be doing a general press conference once again as reported by journalist Quentin Moynet. Instead, she should talk to a WTA editorial reporter.

"Press announcement: Aryna Sabalenka will not be doing a general press conference tonight. An interview with a WTA editorial reporter will be conducted shortly and transcribed and distributed."


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