'There For Tennis': Sabalenka On Possible Australian Open Final With Ukrainian Yastremska

'There For Tennis': Sabalenka On Possible Australian Open Final With Ukrainian Yastremska

by Zachary Wimer

Aryna Sabalenka is not interested in engaging in politics as a potential match against Dayana Yastremska at the 2024 Australian Open looms large.

The Ukrainian tennis players refuse to shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players, even though It's not an obligation, but most of them have followed that for months now.

Dayana Yastremska is one of them, as she has refused to shake hands with her opponents multiple times. Being from Odessa, a city that suffered damage from the war, and having to hide in shelters herself made it very personal to her.

She's also playing in the Australian Open semi-final, and if she wins, then fans won't see any handshake in the 2024 Australian Open final, as Sabalenka from Belarus is the other finalist.

It would be quite an awkward trophy ceremony, but Sabalenka is not interested in any of that. Asked by reporters about possibly facing Yastremska in the final, she admitted that tennis is her only concern.

"Well, if it is Yastremska, we've played a lot of matches. She's a great player and she deserves to be in the finals. She has this fight spirit. Always fighting for every point."

Sabalenka on facing Yastremska

"The outside, I don't care about outside. I feel like I know that she respect me as a player. The rest, I don't care. I'm there for playing tennis, not the rest."

The Belarusian has been busy all fortnight, winning matches in straight sets without problems. Even the semi-final clash against Coco Gauff was business, as he kept it in two. Asked about possibly facing the Ukrainian, Sabalenka respects the choice.

"Well, I respect their choice there. If it's something they need, I'm happy with that. I don't care. It's a Grand Slam final, I'm going to go there and do my best. If it's Yastremska or Zheng, doesn't matter. It's about tennis. It's not about something else."


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