Aryna Sabalenka met with social media personality David Portnoy in Miami during the grand opening of an Italian-inspired restaurant named Casadonna.
Sabalenka was part of the tennis glitterati in attendance, with former WTA No. 1s Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki also part of the invited guests list. After the three WTA stars of the current and past era posed for the cameras, it would emerge that Sabalenka met with David Portnoy.
David Portnoy is a 46-year-old American who owns Barstool Sports, a popular sports and pop-culture blog. He is Sabalenka's biggest cheerleader and even had a front-row seat during one of her matches at this year's US Open.
But because of Portnoy's previous history in which he was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in a report by the Business Insider, and some controversial comments on women, many fans rebuffed his fanfare and admiration for Sabalenka and her game.
Portnoy had been live-tweeting some of the Belarusian's matches in New York and had Sabalenka's attention. He received an invitation from the WTA No. 1 to watch the women's final in her coach's corner. Unfortunately, Portnoy couldn't make it as he was set to be in Alabama for a live college football show.
But the American blogger caught up with Sabalenka last Friday in the newly-established nightlife restaurant in Miami and posed for a photo together which Portnoy shared on his X account, to which it received mixed reactions.
One fan in particular wrote, "I think Aryna knows who he is and what he became famous for because this is not their first interaction. That makes THIS way worse. Aryna Sabalenka, as the flagbearer of women’s tennis right now, please do better."
Sabalenka is currently preparing for her last tournament of the season and she's been practicing at her residence in Miami. She will fly to Cancun, Mexico, in the next few days to play at the WTA Finals where she will be looking to finish the season as the year-end No. 1.